Underage drinking down among 12- to 20-year olds
Today the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) revealing continued long-term declines in underage alcohol consumption. Kana Enomoto, Acting Administrator, SAMHSA, said the 2014 data show major reductions in alcohol consumption among 12 to 20 year olds over the past decade, including more than 2.1 million fewer underage drinkers and nearly 2 million fewer binge drinkers.
From 2005 to 2014 significant declines were reported in the prevalence rates of current, binge, and heavy alcohol consumption among 12 to 20 year olds. Past month consumption among 12 to 20-year-olds has declined proportionally 19 percent from 28% in 2005 to 23% in 2014. Underage binge drinking rates decreased 27 percent proportionally from 19% to 14%, while heavy drinking (five or more drinks on the same occasion on 5 or more days in the past 30 days) also decreased among 12 to 20 year olds during this time declining 43 percent proportionally from 6% in 2005 to 3% in 2014. Between 2013 and 2014 the survey noted similar, albeit slightly lower, rates of alcohol consumption among 12 to 20 year olds. Past month consumption remained unchanged from year to year, while binge drinking declined 3% and heavy alcohol consumption decreased 8%.
For more than two decades the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) has been a leader in the fight to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking and has helped play a significant role in these noted reductions guiding a lifetime of conversations around alcohol responsibility by bringing individuals, families and communities together through programs such as #TalkEarly, AskListenLearn, and IKnowEverything. Today’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health data is good news, but our work is not finished – follow us on social media to help our nation’s youth say “yes” to a healthy lifestyle and “no” to underage drinking.
Maureen Dalbec, Vice President of Research at Responsibility.org, and her husband are proud parents of two college age children. In her free time she enjoys running and swimming and occasionally competing in triathlons as well as volunteering in her community.