Drinking Among HS Students: 1991-2015



From the Centers for Disease Control:


Excessive drinking accounted for approximately 4,300 deaths each year among persons aged <21 years during 2006–2010,* and underage drinking cost the United States $24.3 billion in 2010 (1). CDC analyzed data from the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) for the years 1991–2015 to examine trends in drinking by U.S. high school students, and from the 2015 YRBS to assess the usual source of alcohol consumedand binge drinking intensity (i.e., the average number of drinks consumed per binge drinking occasion).§ During 1991–2007, the prevalence of current drinking among high school students declined significantly, from 50.8% (1991) to 44.7% (2007), and then significantly declined to 32.8% in 2015. The prevalence of binge drinking** increased from 31.3% in 1991 to 31.5% in 1999, and then significantly declined to 17.7% in 2015. Most high school students who drank were binge drinkers (57.8%), and 43.8% of binge drinkers consumed eight or more drinks in a row. Despite progress, current drinking and binge drinking are common among high school students, and many students who binge drink do so at high intensity (i.e., eight or more drinks in a row). Widespread use of evidence-based strategies for preventing excessive drinking (e.g., increasing alcohol taxes, regulating alcohol outlet density, and having commercial host liability laws) could help reduce underage drinking and related harms.††


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