According to the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future analysis of underage alcohol, drug, and tobacco use—released today and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services—teen alcohol use continues to decline and has reached historic lows.
The study found both the monthly prevalence of alcohol use as well as binge drinking (defined as having five or more drinks in a row in the last two weeks) among 8th, 10th and 12th graders are at historic lows since they began monitoring teen drinking behaviors, with binge drinking falling by half or more at each grade level since peak rates.
Specifically, the percentage of students who drank alcohol in the last 30 days declined 71% for 8th graders since 1991, 54% for 10th graders since 1991, and 51% for 12th graders since 1975.
As for binge drinking, the number of 8th graders who drank five or more drinks in a row in the last two weeks has declined 69% since 1991, 54% for 10th graders since 1991, and 58% for 12th graders since 1975.
America’s brewers and beer importers praised the findings of the study as a result of greater awareness, education and partnerships among parents, educators, law enforcement, retailers, and the beer industry.
“The findings of this study are encouraging, especially for our industry, which is committed to the prevention of underage drinking,” said Jim McGreevy, President and CEO of the Beer Institute. “However, we know that our work and the work of others must continue. We are committed to working with schools, parents, law enforcement, and local leaders to help ensure these rates continue to decline to further reduce underage drinking.”
Monitoring the Future is an ongoing study of the behaviors, attitudes, and values of American secondary school students, college students, and young adults. Each year, a total of approximately 50,000 8th, 10th and 12th grade students are surveyed (12th graders since 1975, and 8th and 10th graders since 1991).