We know prevention works. While working in this field over the past 20 years, Vanguard has seen prevention efforts make inspiring progress in reducing underage drinking.
When comparing results from 2002 to 2020 in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, young adults drink less now. This is encouraging news because studies indicate that drinking is associated with:
- Decreased school performance;
- Increased involvement with the legal system;
- Use of other substances;
- Greater risk of injuries, including death from motor vehicle crashes; and
- Altered brain development.
Going forward, keeping this momentum is crucial. As we observe Alcohol Awareness Month this April, we’re highlighting the ways everyone can prevent underage drinking by connecting prevention information to people who interact with youth the most — and youth themselves — through these SAMHSA resources:
- StopAlcoholAbuse.gov has the latest research and resources to support underage drinking prevention and related issues.
- Communities Talk success stories provide examples of and inspiration for activities that are working across the country to prevent underage drinking.
- Facts and evidence-based resources from the SAMHSA Store, such as:
- Alcohol Use Among Girls & Young Women: A Worrying Trend
- Facts on Underage Drinking
- Four data visualizations on the prevention and reduction of underage drinking.
- Tips for Teens: The Truth About Alcohol
- Underage Drinking: Myths vs. Facts
- The “Talk. They Hear You.” campaign, including its new mobile app, which helps parents and caregivers start conversations about substance misuse prevention.
Research tells us that prevention strategies are most effective when they include everyone — parents and families, law enforcement, health care providers, community organizations, schools and universities, local and state governments, and the federal government. Let’s all partner to promote prevention!
This is an earlier version of a blog post that was revised and later published on the SAMHSA Blog.