Alcohol is a legal drug in the U.S. for people age 21 and older. People often drink as a way to:
- De-stress from the day.
- Reward themselves.
- Feel less inhibited in social situations.
- Fit in with others who are drinking.
- Express feelings that are difficult to express when sober.
- Suppress painful feelings, such as shame, anger, sadness or loneliness.
Even though it’s illegal to drink alcohol if you’re under 21, teenagers choose to drink for other complicated and various reason, including:
- Imitating adults, including parents.
- Wanting to experiment, rebel or get a quick thrill.
- Peer pressure or wanting to seem cool.
- A desire to reduce inhibitions and social anxiety and boost confidence.
- Media images (movies, videos, games, social media) of teens drinking and “having fun.”
- A method of escape to deal with stress and worries.