Underage drinking is happening in our community, as early as 6th grade. In a local school, 1.7% of middle-schoolers had had a drink in the past 30 days. Nearly 17% of children felt that there was slight to no risk of harming oneself if they drank 5 or more drinks once or twice a week. 16% said there was slight or no risk in harming oneself if they drink one or two alcoholic beverages nearly everyday.
Though these numbers are not extremely high, young children are beginning to lower their perception of risk of drinking alcohol. The lower this perception becomes, the higher the risk actually is. If children do not perceive risk, they are more likely to try something. Trying to drink alcohol at such a young age is very dangerous for the developing brain and can lead to harmful consequences. It is important to inform children that the legal drinking age is 21 because by then, brains are almost fully developed, which keeps the brain safer. Alcohol is a toxin, and informing people of this is important for lowering the usage amongst underage persons.