Alcohol abuse and binge drinking cause significant problems for addicts and the people around them, such as liver disease, violent crime, fatal motor vehicle crashes, and property crimes. Long term heavy alcohol use is the leading cause of chronic liver disease, and the death rate in South Dakota because of liver disease is higher than the national rate. In South Dakota, around 22% of adults and 26% of high school students reported binge drinking in 2011. Excessive alcohol use in South Dakota cost the state over $540 million dollars every year. As of 2019, the state placed 25th with 17.7% adults saying they drank excessively, which is just under the national average.
The state of South Dakota also had the 11th highest rate of alcohol-related driving deaths at 35.2%. Around 14% of South Dakota teens binge drink and 12% of high school seniors said they drove when they had been drinking alcohol. It is also estimated that 80% of teens feel that parents should have a say in whether they drink alcohol. Roughly 60% of teens in South Dakota had one or more drinks of alcohol one or more days during their life. Close to 28% of high school students had at least one drink of alcohol in the past 30 days. High school seniors also face problems with drinking and driving, and 12% of high school seniors said they drove when they had been drinking. 27% of high school seniors said they rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol.
At the start of sixth grade, nearly 30% of youth said they had at least one sip of alcohol, and in most cases, it was provided by their parents. By the ninth grade, around 26% of those who said they had a sip of alcohol at a young age had a full alcoholic drink. Starting to drink at a young age will lead to drinking later in adult life. When this happens, there is a greater risk of binge drinking and alcohol abuse.