Teen Drinking Drops to Historic Low

Drinking alcohol by middle and high school students in the U.S. has reached its lowest level in the 36-year history of the federal government's annual Monitoring the Future Survey. Binge or heavy episodic drinking also continues it long-term decline.

A total of 46,482 eighth, tenth, and twelfth grade students in 396 public and independent schools across the country were surveyed anonymously in the most recent study. The survey measures included daily, past 30 days, past year, and lifetime use. While alcohol consumption by students reached historic lows, the use of marijuana continued to increase.

The declines are significant. For example, the authors reported that "Since 1991, thirty-day prevalence rates have fallen by about half among 8th graders, by close to one third among 10th graders, and by nearly one quarter among 12th graders."

On the other hand, drug use by young people continues to increase.

 

Sources:

  • Johnston, L. D., O'Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2011). Monitoring the Future National Results on Adolescent Drug Use: Overview of Key Findings, 2010. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Social Research, the University of Michigan, 2011.
  • Johnston, L. D., O'Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2010). Monitoring the Future National Survey Results on Drug Use, 1975–2009: Volume I, Secondary School Students. Bethesda, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2010. (NIH Publication No. 10-7584).
  • Johnston, L. D., O'Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. Marijuana use is rising; ecstasy use is beginning to rise; and alcohol use is declining among U.S. teens.: Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan News Service, December 14, 2010.

filed under: Underage Drinking | Binge Drinking

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