Alcohol is the substance most frequently used by youth. According to 2002 data from Monitoring the Future (MTF), a nationally representative survey of youth, 78% of 12th graders, 67% of 10th graders and 47% of 8th graders reported consuming alcohol in their lives. Youth who drink may experience a range of adverse short and long-term consequences including academic problems such as lower grades or school failure, social problems, physical problems such as hangovers or medical illnesses, unwanted or unintended sexual activity, physical and sexual assault, memory problems, increased risk for suicide and homicide, alcohol-related car crashes and death from alcohol poisoning. Clearly, drinking by young people and its consequences presents a significant public health problem which must command attention. This volume of Recent Developments in Alcoholism focusing on alcohol consumption by adolescents and young adults is therefore extremely timely.