Check out important information, risks and treatment resources to alcohol and underage drinking.


Did You Know?

In 2019, 7.0 million young people ages 12 to 20 reported that they drank alcohol beyond “just a few sips” in the past month.

Source: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Get the FAQs

Why is underage drinking dangerous?

Alcohol abuse in young people is a major cause of injury and death. In 2011, around 188,000 children under the age of 21 visited emergency rooms due to alcohol related injuries.

This can lead to risky behavior such as unsafe sexual behavior, drinking while driving or being aggressive towards others; underage binge drinkers are at an increased risk for becoming both victims and perpetrators of violence because they suffer from impaired judgment that comes with heavy consumption on top of impulsiveness.

Alcohol can cause the brain to mature and develop, but once it reaches maturity at 25 years old, alcohol will then affect what is developed. Alcohol's affects on development are serious because they could change important structures in the brain that regulate behaviors like how our emotions work or control muscles.

How much is one drink?

A standard drink in the United States is any beverage containing 0.6 fluid ounces or 14 grams of pure alcohol (also known as an alcoholic drink-equivalent), which is found in:

  • 12 ounces of beer with about 5 percent alcohol content
  • 5 ounces of wine with about 12 percent alcohol content
  • 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits with about 40 percent alcohol content

The percentage of pure alcohol, expressed here as alcohol by volume (alc/vol), varies within and across beverage types.

What can you do as a parent or caregiver?

Be aware of the following which can influence child's alcohol use:

  • Social transitions as transition to schools, graduating high school or obtaining a driver’s license
  • Depression and other serious emotional problems;
  • A family history of alcoholism
  • Friends who participate in risky behavior such as drinking.

Be a positive adult role model:

  • Avoid alcohol in high-risk situations such as drinking and driving.
  • Do not give alcohol to your children or their friends

Support your children and give them space to grow:

  • Be involved in your children’s lives.
  • Encourage your children to grow and be independent and also set boundaries.
  • Be open with your children about their lives.
  • Know where your children are, what they are doing, who they are with and who their friends are
  • Have your children be involved with family such as cooking together, going for a walk etc..
  • Set clear rules about alcohol use.
  • Show your children ways to have fun without alcohol.
  • If there is alcohol at a party don't allow your child to attend and don't host parties with alcohol.

Drug & Alcohol Treatment

in and around Sunnyside, Washington

If you or someone you know is in need of treatment for drug and/or alcohol abuse, please contact one of the following organizations.

Sundown M Ranch

2280 WA-821
Yakima, WA 98901
(800) 326-7444

Central Washington Comprehensive MH Sunnyside Center

1319 Saul Road
Sunnyside, WA 98944
(509) 575-4084

Merit Resource Services

702 Franklin Ave
Sunnyside, WA 98944
(509) 837-7700