How Much Are Young People Drinking?
How many times a month do young people
drink? How much alcohol do they consume?
A recent SAMHSA report offers data
to help raise awareness.
The report, Quantity
and Frequency of Alcohol Use among
from SAMHSA’s National Survey
on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) presents
findings from combined 2005 and 2006
NSDUH data about the drinking habits
of people age 12 to 20.
An annual average of 28.3 percent
of young persons age 12 to 20 in the
United States (about 10.8 million people)
drank alcohol in the past month.
While people age 21 or older averaged
more days of alcohol consumption in
the past month than underage drinkers
(8.7 versus 5.9 days), underage drinkers
averaged more drinks per day
on the days they drank in the past
month than legal drinkers (4.9 versus
The report indicates that college-age
underage drinkers (age 18 to 20) drank
more often in the past month and drank
more on each occasion than younger
underage drinkers (age 12 to 17).
For example, young adults age 18 to
20 were 3 times as likely as youth
age 12 to 17 to have used alcohol in
the past month (51.4 versus 16.6 percent).
In addition, underage drinkers age
18 to 20 consumed alcohol on more days
in the past month than those age 12
to 17 (6.7 versus
4.6 days). They also averaged more
drinks per day than their counterparts
age 12 to 17 (5.2 versus 4.5 drinks).
Frequency of Alcohol Use among Underage
Drinkers is available
on SAMHSA’s Web site at www.oas.samhsa.gov.
For more information on underage drinking,
read SAMHSA News online,
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