Alcohol is the #1 substance used by teenagers and young adults in Indiana.

Stress, depression, anxiety are all common reasons you might turn to alcohol to cope – but it’s often not without consequences!

Even using alcohol to “blow off steam” or “just have a little fun” can impact your daily life, especially when regularly consumed in excessive amounts.

Alcohol can impact relationships, how well you do in school, your work and athletic performance, and more. In some cases, alcohol can even make your anxiety or depression worse.

What’s your #1?

When alcohol becomes your priority, nothing else wins.

What’s your #1 in life?

Family and friends, faith, your future–the possibilities and choices are yours!

Graduation is a cause for celebration, but remember Indiana’s social host law makes it illegal to provide a place for minors to drink. What’s in your fridge and who is at your house is your responsibility.

Alcohol is the #1 substance college students use.
27% of students report binge drinking in the last month.
17% of students reported drinking to get away from problems.

Do You or Someone You Know Need Help?

If you or a loved one are prioritizing drinking, help is available. Make yourself number #1.

Take the Quiz

Have you ever thought about how much alcohol you really drink and if it might be time to cut back or stop? Take this quick screening tool to see how you can drink less to be your best:

Social Media Kits

You can help others understand the connection between alcohol and mental health, and how to prioritize themselves over drinking. These social media kits help you share data, support, and resources.

Video Gallery

23% of students reported feeling bad about how much they drank.
7% of students said their drinking created problems with family and friends.
20% of underage students said their parents provided the alcohol.

Remember: If you are under 21, purchasing and consuming alcohol is illegal in Indiana and could result in a loss of driver’s license, fines, and even jail time. If you are over 21, providing alcohol to minors or a place for minors to drink is illegal and can result in fines and even jail time.

Understanding the effects of alcohol

Alcohol.  It seems to be everywhere – because it is

Alcohol is a depressant that affects the production of serotonin and dopamine, which are the “happy” hormones. Alcohol provides a temporary “calm,” but did you know it can disrupt sleep and increase blood pressure and heart rate, making you feel anxious? Alcohol can also increase feelings of depression even if you don’t have a pre-existing mental illness.

Is sports your #1?

Alcohol can impact your performance:

Muscle development and functioning drinking can undo the results you want from working out and exercising by disrupting the hormones you need, like HGC and testosterone, to build and strengthen muscles

Aerobic Performance alcohol slows respiratory function and impacts body temperature regulation which can lead to dehydration

Cognitive and motor functions alcohol can impact the way you learn and remember, resulting inability to remember strategies and respond quickly

Is your health your #1?

Alcohol can impact your health:

Cancer alcohol has been linked to several kinds of cancer including stomach, throat, and esophageal

Cardiovascular system drinking too much alcohol in a short period of time or drinking over a longer period of time can cause irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure, and stroke

Liver over time alcohol use can cause the liver to harden and stop functioning

Sleep alcohol interrupts sleep which can lead to insomnia and other sleep related issues

Headaches and fatigue alcohol can cause dehydration which increase headaches, including migraines, and muscle fatigue and feelings of tiredness

Immune system alcohol can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to infections and illness (even within 24 hours after you drink)

Don’t let alcohol take the place of what’s important to you. Don’t let alcohol be your #1.

Are academics your #1?

Alcohol can impact your academic achievement:

Memory and learning alcohol impacts your ability to remember and learn new information

Class attendance alcohol use is associated with missed classes, missing assignments, and lower test scores

Graduation rates heavier alcohol use is associated with lower graduation rates

Is your mental health your #1?

Alcohol can have negative impacts on your mental health:

Anxiety alcohol can increase feelings of anxiety which are also physical feelings such as dry mouth, rapid heartbeat, and feeling dizzy or fainting

Depression alcohol can lead to increased feelings of depression and withdrawal from things that use to be pleasurable

Addiction substance use disorder is a chemical imbalance in the brain’s system caused by alcohol and other substance use, and is influenced by genetics and environment

Are your relationships your #1?

Alcohol can have a negative impact on your relationships with family, friends, and significant others.

Physical intimacy alcohol use can impact physical intimacy by disrupting functioning and physical abilities, ability to make responsible decisions, and the ability to respect the choices of your partner

Emotional intimacy alcohol use can impact the ability to communicate effectively, build and maintain trust and respect between you and another person

Violence and abuse alcohol use can increase relationship violence including physical and verbal abuse

Time and investment alcohol use can take all of the time and resources that might have been spent with a friend, family member, or significant other

What’s Your #1? is a joint partnership of Mental Health America of Indiana, Indiana Collegiate Action Network, and Indiana Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking, with support from the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction.

Mental Health America of Indiana, 1431 N. Delaware St., Indianapolis, IN 46202
Phone: 317-638-3501 Email: