Underage drinking has dropped 6.1% over the past 11 years, according to a new study.
The study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) revealed that underage drinking dropped to 22.7% in 2013 from 28.8% in 2002. Underage binge drinking also fell to 14% from 19% over the same period of time.
The researchers studied the drinking habits of more than 67,500 people between the ages of 12 and 20.
“When parents communicate clear expectations and they are supported by community efforts to prevent underage drinking, we can make a difference,” Frances M. Harding, director of SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention said in a press release. Harding added, “However, there are still 8.7 million current underage drinkers and 5.4 million current underage binge drinkers. This poses a serious risk not to their health and to their future but to the safety and well-being of others. We must do everything we can to prevent drinking and get treatment for young people who need it.”
Although there’s a sharp decline in underage drinking among minors, alcohol has continued to be the most used substance by children between the age of 12 and 20. It is even higher compared to minors who consumed illegal drugs or tobacco, the Daily Times Gazette reported.
However, the efforts put into effect by different organizations to stop underage drinking has begun to see results, including regular ad campaigns on television and in magazines. And the government has placed harsher implications for minors who use fake IDs.
James Fell, a senior research scientist at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation told USA Today that, ““It doesn’t surprise me this is going on.” He added, “The combination of all those laws and enforcement will deter underage people from drinking.”