In recent years, alcohol use among young people has been recognized as a significant health problem. Teenagers appear to be consuming more alcohol, more frequently than ever before. The majority of high school seniors admit to having tried alcohol, and many of them claim to have taken their first drink by the age of twelve. Each year, more than ten thousand people between the ages of 16 and 24 die as the result of alcohol use, and half of these deaths involve alcohol-related driving accidents. It's important to keep in mind that alcohol can be just as addictive as other drugs, and it has a great potential to harm young minds and bodies. If you're concerned about your teen's drinking habits, you may wish to consider the following questions. Are school grades slipping? Does your teen drink to forget problems or to relax, drink alone, drink in the morning, or try to drink less and fail? Does your teen ever experience blackouts, lie to family or friends about drinking, or gulp drinks instead of sipping them? If a teen, or a person of any other age, answers 'yes' to any of these questions, it could be a sign of a drinking problem. For more information about teenage drinking, contact a local health care professional.