Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

Many Kids Get Alcohol From Family Members

Study Shows Nearly 45% of 12- to 14-Year-Olds Get Alcohol From Their Family or at Home
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

Feb. 17, 2011 -- Almost 6% of young people between the ages of 12 and 14 drank alcohol in the past month, and close to half of them got it at home or from family members, a study shows.

Young people who drink before they are 15 are six times more likely to experience problems with alcohol later in life, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

According to the new study by SAMHSA:

  • 5.9% of kids 12 to 14 said they drank alcohol in the month before being surveyed. That amounts to an estimated 700,000 young people in this age group.
  • 93.4% of those who drank alcohol said they got it for free.
  • 44.8%, or about 317,000, said they got their alcohol from their family or at home. This includes 15.7% or an estimated 111,000 kids 12-14 who got alcohol from parents or guardians.

Risk to Future Health

“People who begin drinking alcohol before the age of 15 are six times more likely than those who start at age 21 and older to develop alcohol problems,” SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, JD, says in a news release. “Parents and other adults need to be aware that providing alcohol to children can expose them to an increased risk for alcohol abuse and set them on a path with increased potential for addiction.”

The new report, “SAMHSA Data Spotlight: Young Alcohol Users Often Get Alcohol from Family or Home,” is based on combined data from the agency’s 2006 to 2009 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health and involves more than 44,000 kids age 12 to 14 who responded.

According to the new report, family members sometimes could play a direct role in reducing adolescents’ access to alcohol, which not only could help prevent adolescent drinking, but the early onset of other problems associated with alcohol, such as alcoholismand heart disease.

Key findings of the report include that:

  • 19.6% of underage alcohol users got it from another underage person for free.
  • 13.5% obtained alcohol for no charge from an unrelated adult.
  • 6.8% got it by taking it from someone else’s home.
  • 15.2% took it from their own homes.
  • 13.9% got their alcohol from adult relatives.
  • 15.7% got their alcohol from parents or guardians.
  • 8.8% obtained alcohol from other, unspecified sources, for free.

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
mother and daughter talking
child brushing his teeth
Sipping hot tea
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
rl with friends
tissue box
Child with adhd