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SAMHSA News - July/August 2008, Volume 16, Number 4


Underage Drinking: What Parents Need To Know

By Kristin Blank

Start Talking Before They Start Drinking (www.stopalcoholabuse.gov) logoData from SAMHSA’s recent report on underage drinking offer parents, teachers, and other concerned adults information on where drinking occurs and how young people obtain alcohol.

The 110-page report, Underage Alcohol Use: Findings from the 2002-2006 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health, also includes statistics on prevalence, trends, and sociodemographic and geographic differences. The findings are from SAMHSA’s 2002 to 2006 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health.

More than 5,000 people under age 21 die as a result of drinking alcohol every year in the United States, according to findings cited in the report.

Where Young People Drink

Overall, a majority of underage drinkers in 2006 reported that when they last used alcohol they were either in someone else’s home (53.4 percent) or their own home (30.3 percent).

The next most popular drinking locations for this age group were at a restaurant, bar, or club (9.4 percent); in a car or vehicle (5.5 percent); or at a park, on a beach, or in a parking lot (4.8 percent).

Underage drinkers whose last drinking occasion was at someone else’s home consumed an average of 4.9 drinks, while those whose last drinking occasion was at their own homes consumed an average of 4.0 drinks.

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How Youth Obtain Alcohol

Among all underage current drinkers, 31.0 percent paid for the alcohol the last time they drank, including 9.3 percent who purchased the alcohol themselves and 21.6 percent who gave money to someone else to purchase it. The remaining 69.0 percent of underage drinkers did not pay for the alcohol on their last drinking occasion.

The most common sources of alcohol among underage current drinkers vary substantially by age group. (See the chart below for details.)

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Common Sources by Age Group

d
chart showing common sources of alcohol by age group - click to view text only versiond
chart showing common sources of alcohol by age group - click to view text only versiond
chart showing common sources of alcohol by age group - click to view text only versiond

click to enlarge image


Source: SAMHSA Office of Applied Studies. Underage Alcohol Use: Findings from the 2002-2006 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. Figure 4.7: Source of Alcohol Used in the Past Month Among Current Drinkers Aged 12 to 20, by Age: 2006. June 2008.

The findings from this SAMHSA study are being incorporated into the Underage Drinking Prevention campaign, an ongoing public outreach effort by the Office of the Surgeon General, SAMHSA, and the Ad Council encouraging parents to speak with their children early and often about the negative effects of underage drinking.

The campaign provides parents with valuable information about the problem of underage drinking as well as tips for how to talk to their children about it. Further information about the campaign can be obtained at www.stopalcoholabuse.gov.

The report is available for free download at http://oas.samhsa.gov/underage2k8/toc.htm. For information about SAMHSA’s efforts to combat underage drinking, read SAMHSA News online, May/June 2008End of Article

Parent Awareness of Youth Substance Abuse Varies

Tobacco Sales to Minors at All-Time Low 

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Inside This Issue
Homelessness Services: Web 2.0 Connects Providers Online
Part 1
Part 2
What Is Web 2.0?
Homelessness Initiatives


Returning Veterans National Guard Focuses on Mental Health, Substance Abuse

Vets Suicide Hotline Helps 55,000+ in First Year



HHS Secretary Taps Administrator for New Post

Administrator’s Message: To a Healthy Future

Recovery Month: Communities Gear Up for September

Update: Directory of Treatment Programs

Treatment Discharges: Latest Report

Sustaining Grassroots Community Programs

Teens and Substance Use
Parent Awareness of Youth Substance Abuse Varies
Underage Drinking: What Parents Need To Know
Tobacco Sales to Minors at All-Time Low

Smoke-Free Conference Policy

About SAMHSA

SAMHSA News - July/August 2008, Volume 16, Number 4