"You probably can pull up any high school picture or yearbook and there's going to be one page dedicated to someone that got killed hitting a tree, and that's very, very sad. It's also more sad when that person hit a tree and their two other passengers died as well and it just ruins lives."
Dr. Mark Winther of Little Falls Hospital says young adults often think they're immortal - nothing can hurt them - but we all know that is far from the truth especially when it comes to alcohol consumption. It's common knowledge that drinking too much can lead to poor decision making, but for young adults, it can be even worse.
"Long-term stuff we don't know much," says Dr. Winther, "but we do know that the brain develops until about the age of 20 so we theorize that it can affect how the brain develops."
Dr. Winther also says the younger a person drinks, the more likely they are to become an alcoholic later in life. While drinking seems like fun on the surface, it can put all of us - especially kids - in compromising situations.
"You're more talkative, more social, more fun to be around but that tends to keep going and then you can do things that are dangerous. You're more likely to have sex with a stranger, you're more likely to have unprotected sex, you're more vulnerable to being a victim of sexual assault."
Dr. Winther points out that alcohol doesn't have the negative connotation that other drugs do, and is readily available. He says not all young people will abstain from drinking. But there are ways to stop underage drinking. He says that responsibility belongs to the parents - that goes beyond just warning of the dangers.
"You have to realize that it's your child and if they don't drink, they're going to be around people that do drink...I would think it would be an important thing to say I understand, I don't want you to drink, if by chance you do drink, I'll pick you up anytime anywhere."