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Monitoring the Future shows declines in underage drinking

According to the 2015 Monitoring the Future Survey alcohol consumption among the nation’s youth continues its long-term decline in 2015. Alcohol consumption among 10th and 12th graders are at the lowest levels on all prevalence ratings (lifetime, past year and past 30 days) since record keeping began. Ten-year trends also continue to show significant decreases in alcohol consumption among all grades (8th, 10th and 12th). Lifetime consumption among 8th, 10th and 12th graders reached historic low levels in 2015 and current (or past month) consumption declined to the lowest recorded levels among 10th and 12th graders.

Current Underage Drinking_2015-04-01


Lifetime Underage Drinking_2015-02

The survey data released today also revealed a statistically significant drop in binge drinking (having five or more drinks in a row within the past two weeks) among 10th and 12th graders, as well as a decline in the proportion of 12th graders who reported engaging in extreme levels of binge drinking.

  • Extreme binge drinking of 10 or more drinks among 12th graders declined 45 percent from 11 percent in 2005 (the first year measured) to 6 percent in 2015.
  • Twelfth graders consuming 15 or more drinks in a row decreased 39 percent from 2005 to 2015.

Peer disapproval of binge drinking has been increasing since 2000 and remains high among students in all grades, although it did not rise further in 2015. However, disapproval remains higher than the perceived risk of binge drinking among 8th, 10th and 12th graders. Ease of availability among all grade levels continues to decline which may play a contributing role in the noted declines in underage alcohol consumption.

For more than two decades the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility ( has been a leader in the fight to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking and has played a significant role in these noted reductions by bringing individuals, families and communities together, and providing innovative insights through programs such as #TalkEarly, Ask, Listen, Learn, and IKnowEverything.  Today’s Monitoring the Future data is good news, but our work is not finished. Follow us on social media to continue a lifetime of conversations about alcohol responsibility and help our nation’s youth say “yes” to a healthy lifestyle and “no” to underage drinking.

Maureen Dalbec, Vice President of Research at, 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.

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