New Statistics Show More Teens Abusing Alcohol

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American teenagers abuse alcohol more than any other drug according to government statistics.

Some kids may see it as a right of passage and some adults may think it's better than using illegal drugs. Newly released figures are showing the impact abuse has on kids, as they grow into adults.

In a month and a half, Justin, who asked not to have his last name used, turns 21 and can legally drink, but he says he's already an alcoholic.

He took his first drink at 16. Late, he says, for teens these days, but caught up fast.
"I'd average about six nights a week, about 30-35 beers a night." said Justin

Drinking more than five drinks in one setting is considered binge drinking, and government statistics show it's the preference of 70-percent of teens who drink, but experts warn binge drinking before age 21 greatly increases your risk of being an alcoholic as an adult.

Seven-million Americans over the age of 21 are addicted to alcohol. About one-third of them began drinking before the age of 14, 80-percent began drinking before the age of 18, and 96-percent began drinking before the age of 21.
Evidence is mounting that suggests it's something about exposing a developing brain to alcohol that triggers the addiction.

Because of the plasticity of the brain of youth, those chemicals are obviously having a major effect on individuals of that age than when they are adults.