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Addiction and Substance Abuse

Alcohol Facts for Teens

Alcohol is dangerous to your health. Drinking can cause car accidents, falls, and drowning. It affects your vision, hearing and coordination. Long-term, it can cause heart disease, liver damage and memory loss. It can make a man unable to have sex. If you drink enough alcohol, it can kill you.

Alcohol can give you bad breath, hangovers, and weight problems (it has lots of calories).

Alcohol can make you act silly and do things you regret later. It makes it hard to control your muscles, mind and mouth. It can make you take risks you wouldn't take if you didn't drink.

Drinking won't solve your problems. It will only make them worse. Many teen suicides are related to alcohol.

Alcohol is addictive. Some people who start drinking can't stop. They have a disease called alcoholism. If someone in your family is an alcoholic, you have a greater risk of becoming alcoholic yourself. The younger you are when you start to drink, the more likely you are to become an alcoholic.

Alcohol is illegal if you're under 21. It's against the law for teens to use, buy or sell alcohol.

Beer and wine (wine coolers, too) contain alcohol. They are just as bad for you as vodka, whiskey or gin.

This material was developed by the TRUE Family Program, Department of Family Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, and adapted for use on NetWellness with permission, 2011.

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Last Reviewed: Jun 16, 2011

Sybil K Marsh, MD, MA Sybil K Marsh, MD, MA
Associate Professor of Family Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University