Underage drinking prevention
Addressing underage drinking is a state priority.
- Young people who begin drinking before age 15 are six times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who wait until age 21 (National Survey on Drug Use and Health).
- In the United States, excessive drinking is responsible for more than 4,300 deaths among underage youth each year (CDC Alcohol and Public Health: Alcohol-Related Disease Impact, 2006-2010).
Alcohol consumption by youth in Washington State:
- One in five 10th grade students report using alcohol in the past 30 days (Healthy Youth Survey, 2016).
- One in six 10th and 12th grade students reported riding in a car in the past month with a driver who had been drinking (Healthy Youth Survey, 2016).
Prevention strategies are being implemented throughout the state at local, county, and state levels, across the Continuum of Care that influence multiple domains and risk and protective factors. Here is a list of some state-wide initiatives focused specifically on underage drinking:
- Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) supports 64 Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative (CPWI) communities across the state – most have a focus on underage drinking prevention.
- DBHR supported two statewide media campaigns with underage drinking prevention messaging: Out of the Picture and Looks Can Deceive.
- Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board - Alcohol and Marijuana Education
- Washington Healthy Youth Coalition – a partnership of Washington State government agencies and organization with the mission to prevent and reduce youth alcohol and marijuana use.
- DBHR’s Washington's Best Practices for Substance Abuse Prevention and Mental Health Promotion Guide
- Start Talking Now - website for parents supported by the Washington Healthy Youth Coalition
- University of Washington Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute
- Partnership for Drug Free Kids
- Underage Drinking - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
- Fact Sheets – Underage Drinking – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Prevention Project Coordinator