DAWN Report-Underage Drinking

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Underage use of alcohol can have both immediate and long-lasting consequences. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 25 percent of drivers aged 16 to 20 who were involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes in 2003 had been drinking alcohol.

Among 14 million adults who could be classified as dependent on or abusing alcohol in the past year, 95 percent started drinking alcohol before age 21.

The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) collects data from a national sample of hospitals on emergency department (ED) visits related to recent drug use. Since 2003, DAWN has included ED visits involving alcohol alone or in combination with other drug(s) for patients younger than age 21.

This report presents findings on these alcohol-related ED visits for patients aged 12 to 20.