Health: The High Cost Of Teen Drinking

The numbers issued by the National Academy of Sciences last week were sobering: 20% of eighth-graders and half of high school seniors surveyed last year said they had had a drink in the past month. Nearly 30% of the seniors admitted to having had at least five drinks at a time within the previous two weeks. Drunken behavior and violent crimes that result from adolescent drinking cost the U.S. $53 billion a year, according to the report, including $19 billion from traffic accidents alone. And although alcohol use among teenagers is far more widespread than illegal-drug use at any age, the...

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