This book focuses on the Surgeon General’s call to action to prevent and reduce underage drinking, to focus national attention on this enduring problem and on new, disturbing research which indicates that the developing adolescent brain may be particularly susceptible to long-term negative consequences from alcohol use. Alcohol is the most widely used substance of abuse among America’s youth. A higher percentage of young people between the ages of 12 and 20 use alcohol than use tobacco or illicit drugs. Underage drinking also creates secondhand effects for others, drinkers and nondrinkers alike, including car crashes from drunk driving, that put every child at risk. Thus, underage alcohol consumption is a major societal problem with enormous health and safety consequences and will demand the nation’s attention and committed efforts to solve.
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