Underage Binge Drinking Still Prominent in U.S.

Underage Binge Drinking Still Prominent in the U.S.

The number of minors who report not just underage drinking, but binge drinking, is shocking.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) deems alcohol to be the most frequently used and abused drug by minors in the United States. The statistics are staggering. The 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey reported that, among high school students, 33% drank alcohol and 18% were binge drinking in the past 30 days. This is especially disconcerting because excessive drinking is the cause of more than 4,300 deaths of minors each year. In 2010, about 189,000 people under the age of 21 went to the emergency room due to alcohol related injuries and illnesses.

These underage binge drinkers are not just numbers and statistics. They are daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, valuable family members, and parts of communities. They are girls like Erica Buschick, 18-year-old Miami University in Ohio student was found dead in her dormitory on January 20, 2017 as a result of consuming large quantities of alcohol. Various witnesses track a night of heavy drinking for Erica. She drank to the point where she was very unsteady on her feet. After exiting the cab that took her home, she fell down multiple times on her way back to her dormitory. Her roommate found her cold and unresponsive the following morning and called 911. She was a daughter, a sister, a future special education teacher, and a young woman with a promising future. Miami University President Gregory Crawford vowed to make renewed efforts to reduce binge-drinking among students.

Unfortunately, the problem of underage drinking has been around for quite some time. In 2007, the Surgeon General issued a Call to Action to prevent and reduce underage drinking. The Call to Action outlined a multifaceted strategy to fight the underage drinking problem in the U.S. and called on all levels of government, individuals, communities, and organizations to help. The strategy discussed in the Call to Action involved things such as:

  • Enforcement of minimum drinking age laws
  • National media campaigns targeting youth and adults
  • Increasing alcohol excise taxes
  • Reducing youth exposure to alcohol advertising
  • Comprehensive community-based program

Along with the Call to Action, the Surgeon General issued guides for families, action for communities, and action for educators entitled, To Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking: What It Means to You. In sum, the Surgeon General hoped that a combination of making it more difficult for minors to gain access to alcohol and educating them on the dangers of alcohol use and abuse would reduce the deaths and injuries associated with underage drinking. No family should have to go through what Erica Buschick family went through. Unfortunately, 10 years after the Surgeon General Issued this Call to Action, underage binge drinking remains a prevalent problem in the U.S.

The dangers of underage drinking are numerous and, oftentimes, severe. Underage drinking can also lead to a number of legal issues. If you or someone you know has found themselves in legal trouble due to underage drinking, contact the trusted criminal defense attorneys at Kidwell, South, Beasley & Haley. Our trusted counselors will listen to every detail of your situation and give you the best legal representation possible. You can be confident knowing that we are by your side through it all. Contact Kidwell, South, Beasley & Haley today online, or call 615-893-1331 to schedule a free consultation.