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SAMHSA News - May/June 2008, Volume 16, Number 3


How Much Are Young People Drinking?

cover of Quantity and Frequency of Alcohol Use among Underage Drinkers - click to view reportHow 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 Underage Drinkers, 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 2.8 drinks).

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).

Quantity and 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, March/April 2007End of Article

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Inside This Issue
Helping Young Offenders Return to Communities
Part 1
Part 2
What Works?
Grantees List

Administrator’s Message: Reducing Recidivism

New CSAP Director Named


Returning Veterans: Upcoming Conference Scheduled

Millions Are Driving Under the Influence

Underage Drinking
Communities Take Action
Underage Drinkers Get Alcohol from Adults
How Much Are Young People Drinking?

The American Experience
Promoting the Well-Being of Arab and Muslim Youth
Joining Together
Preventing and Treating Substance Abuse
Refugee Experience
Domestic Violence

2008 Recovery Month Toolkit Available

Honoring Accuracy in Television, Film
PRISM Awards
Voice Awards

Children’s Mental Health Day

Depression: For Teens, Not Just Growing Pains

Staff in the News: Women's Committee Adds Nine New Members

Guest Speaker: Filmmaker Presents Behind Closed Doors

About SAMHSA

SAMHSA News - May/June 2008, Volume 16, Number 3