Public Health Topics
Preventing Youth Alcohol Use

Beach Cities Health District identified substance use as a health priority for 2022-25. For more information about the health priorities, visit

Know the Facts  

In the Beach Cities:

  • 30% of Beach Cities 11th graders report using alcohol or drugs in the past 30 days, which is higher than both Los Angeles County (20%) and California levels (23.4%)
  • 16% of Beach Cities 11th graders report binge drinking (five or more drinks in a row) in the past 30 days, which is higher than both Los Angeles County (7%) and California levels (8.5%)
  • One in four Beach Cities 9th graders report it “very easy” to obtain alcohol 
    (Source: California Healthy Kids Survey, 2022)

The Dangers of Underage Alcohol Use

  • Youth who consume alcohol are more likely to experience: 
    • School problems, such as higher rates of absences or lower grades.
    • Social problems, such as fighting or lack of participation in youth activities.
    • Legal problems, such as arrest for driving under the influence or physically hurting someone while drunk.
    • Physical problems, such as hangovers or illnesses.
    • Unwanted, unplanned and unprotected sexual activity.
    • Disruption of normal growth or sexual development.
    • Physical and sexual violence.
    • Increased risk of suicide and homicide.
    • Alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes and other unintentional injuries, such as burns, falls or drowning.
    • Misuse of other substances.
    • Alcohol poisoning.
      (Source: CDC, 2021)
  • Alcohol use interferes with brain development which can cause cognitive or learning problems (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2021)

Youth-Inspired Alcohol Prevention Interventions   
BCHD’s Youth Advisory Council produced a PhotoVoice  titled “Youth Perspectives of Alcohol Use in the Beach Cities.” The goal for this project was to highlight the youth voice and point of view on alcohol’s impact on the well-being of their local community. Students compiled photos, testimonials from peers, statistics and relevant research to develop a presentation explaining how the home environment and easy accessibility contribute to widespread  alcohol use by youth in the Beach Cities. View the PhotoVoice here.

BCHD’s Youth Advisory Council’s Summer Workgroup created a complementary campaign, “Don’t Drink, Rethink” to utilize the momentum of the original PhotoVoice. Postcards with statistics and ideas for activities that promote healthy behaviors and habits served as peer-to-peer messaging to highlight suggested alternatives to youth alcohol use.

To view or download postcard, click on image.