Good News: Recent Report Shows Drop in Teen Drinking

A recent report points to declining teen drinking rates. 


Trust us: Teens dislike sitting through anti-drinking lectures just as much as you dread giving them. But maybe all that droning isn’t being done in vain.

A recently released survey from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration demonstrates a decrease in the number of teens who engaged in underage drinking in the past decade, as well as a drop in the number of those who binge-drank. From 2002-2013, underage drinking rates fell from 29 percent to 23 percent, and underage binge-drinking rates decreased from 19 percent to 14 percent. 

This is good news, considering the extreme dangers of drinking (almost 5,000 teens die from drinking alcohol each year), but there’s still room for improvement. The report also noted that alcohol is the top substance used by 12- to 20-year-olds. You can help change that. Family is a top influencer of teen drinking. Talking to kids about the dangers of alcohol may be an uncomfortable conversation, but it’s certainly one worth having.

Don't know where to start? Take a look at this comprehensive guide to the drinking discussion from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and be sure to visit SAMHSA’s “Talk. They Hear You.” campaign page, which provides scripts and other helpful resources for early drinking prevention.

For more about binge drinking, check out "The Danger Of Just One Drink" from the April 2015 issue of Choices.