What We Found (the data)

Harms of Underage Drinking

Underage drinking can have serious brain development impairments.

Risky Behaviors and Consequences. Young drinkers are:

  • 17x more likely to die in a crash
  • 5 times more likely to use any illicit drug
  • More commonly engage in sexual intercourse when drinking, have sexual experiences at an earlier age, engage in unprotected sex, experience unexpected pregnancies, and contract sexually transmitted diseases than youth who do not drink.
  • Twice as likely to use physical force to commit an assault.

Local Statistics and Characteristics

Our Needs Assessment found three notable characteristics in our county related to underage drinking:

  1. Social Norm: Drinking in Fayette vs. Georgia. Although alcohol is slowly trending downward in teen use, it is still by far the most frequently used drug, and a higher percentage of youth in Fayette County drink than youth across Georgia. (see chart at right)
  2. Drinking at home: We found that youth in Fayette do not usually get alcohol from bars, restaurants or liquor stores. Rather they get alcohol from their homes, or friends’ homes.
  3. Lack of alcohol education in school: Until 2014, the primary systemic education about Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs included: the D.A.R.E. program in 5th grade, once-per-year Red Ribbon Week programs that were more about “awareness” than “education”, and sporadic mentions of alcohol in 9th grade health classes. School officials and teens both feel the alcohol awareness programs currently in schools are ineffective.