I need to know about the history of teenage drinking/alcohol abuse.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The history of teen alcohol abuse is a relatively recent one. It had always been something that was known that teens do for some time.  In the 1950s, when teens drank, they were perceived to be "the bad ones" or "the rebels."  It was seen as something that the "good kids" do not do.  Over time, this changed, and in what in my mind coincided with the 1980s' War on Drugs, teen alcoholic consumption started to be targeted as an end that needed to be decreased.  Around this time, the effects of drinking on teen judgment, psychology, and overall health risks began to occupy more importance, helping to drive the movement against it.  Organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving emerged as voices of social consciousness that spoke out against teen drinking and then proceeding to drive in their inebriated state.