Alcohol and drug abuse in men oftentimes begins early in their lives. School years, especially high school and college years, are especially difficult for many boys, as they are facing concerns about body image, sexuality, and athletic performance. And at this critical time in their lives, they are more likely than women to have more opportunities to use alcohol and drugs.
We also know that people who start drinking at an early age – for example, at age 14 or younger – greatly increase the chance that they will develop alcohol problems at some point in their lives. Young men (and women) who abuse alcohol often take risks that endanger their health and the health of others, especially with having unsafe sex. Having unsafe sex can lead to teen pregnancy or to unwanted pregnancy, or to getting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), such as HIV/AIDS. If you have a problem with alcohol, know that you are at risk for these diseases, which can cause serious, even life-threatening health problems.