Underage and binge drinking are on the decline. According to a new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), both binge drinking and underage drinking have been on the decline in the past decade’s time.
Released yesterday, the report reveals that the rate of alcohol consumption by young people between the ages of 12 and 20 within the past 30 days dropped from 28.8 percent to 22.7 percent in the year 2013. Additionally, the rate of binge drinking—defined here as at least five alcoholic drinks at one sitting—among the same group also dropped from 19.3 percent in 2002 to 14.2 percent in the year 2013.
The experts, however, report that underage drinking is still a real issue. They report that 8.7 million American young people have confessed they have had alcohol in the past 30 days.
Additionally, approximately 5.4 million admitted to binge drinking in the last month. Finally, these alcohol use statistics still remain higher than tobacco use at 16.9 percent and illegal drug use at 13.6 percent.
Frances M. Harding, Director of SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention stated: “When parents communicate clear expectations and they are supported by community efforts to prevent underage drinking, we can make a difference. However, there are still 8.7 million current underage drinkers and 5.4 million current underage binge drinkers.”
He elaborated: “This poses a serious risk not only to their health and to their future, but to the safety and well-being of others. We must do everything we can to prevent underage drinking and get treatment for young people who need it.”
Rich Lucey, special assistant to the director at SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse, concluded that while this recent decline is good the problems still exist. “We can’t lose sight of the fact that we (still) have approximately 9 million underage drinkers in the country.”
Underage Drinking And Binge Drinking On Decline