Underage Drinking

In 2019, youth in Naugatuck participated in a survey conducted by the Search Institute. About 44% of respondents said it would be "very" or "sort of" easy to get alcohol. 

All survey data in this report is from responses to the Search Institute’s “Profiles of Student Life: Attitudes & Behaviors.” The survey focuses on the lives of young people and their attitudes and behaviors towards substances and mental health. The results are important to Naugatuck Youth Services, Step Up Naugy, educators, town officials, key stakeholders, parents and others because they indicate areas for the community to focus on in order to support young people in staying safe and healthy.

Alcohol is the most accessible substance for Naugatuck youth.

About 20% of high school students think occasional underage drinking is OK.

This percentage is a decrease from the survey conducted in 2018, where nearly 31% of high schoolers believed it is okay to drink sometimes even if you are underage.

Alcohol use rates increase substantially as young people move up in school. In 2019, only 8% of students in grades 7-8 think it is okay to drink sometimes even if you are underage.

Nearly 11% of youth said their parents don't think underage drinking is a big deal.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, parents play an important role in shaping attitudes toward drinking among youth—positively or negatively. 

"Research shows that children whose parents are actively involved in their lives are less likely to drink alcohol. On the other hand, research shows that a child with a parent who binge drinks is much more likely to binge drink than a child whose parents do not binge drink."

Youth get alcohol from their home with their parents' permission the most often.

About 27% of respondents said they sometimes or often get alcohol from their houses with parental permission; about 19% said they get alcohol from home without parental permission. 

Other common sources of alcohol include friend's home and party with no adult present.

Roughly 9% of respondents said it was OK to drive after having a couple of drinks.

Based on data from the CDC's Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 6% of high schoolers said they have driven after drinking alcohol. 17% rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol. In Naugatuck, 21% of youth reported that they rode with a drive who was under the influence and 2% drove while under the influence (in the past 12 months). 

According to the CDC, teenage drinking and driving has declined by almost half since 1991—a positive trend, but risks remain. "Teen drivers are 3 times more likely than more experienced drivers to be in a fatal crash. Drinking any alcohol greatly increases this risk for teens."

Additional Resources

• CDC: Fact Sheet on Underage Drinking

• CDC: Teen Drinking and Driving: A Dangerous Mix

• National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Underage Drinking

• Naugatuck Youth Services: Network for Good