A new government study reveals that underage drinking appears to be on the decline across the United States.
The study, which was carried out by the U.S. government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), involved an examination of survey data collected between 2002 and 2013. It revealed that underage drinking among Americans aged 12 to 20 dropped by more than one-fifth during that time, while underage binge drinking dropped by more than one-quarter.
Even better: the study revealed that underage drinking declined more and more as time went on. In fact, in the final year of the study, 2013, 27.2-percent of the young people involved said they had not consumed an alcoholic beverage in the past month.
Of course, there’s still work to be done. The study revealed that 14.2-percent of underage Americans had engaged in binge drinking, which is defined as having five or more drinks on the same occasion. Still, that’s better than the 20-percent of underage Americans who reported engaging in that activity back in 2002.
“While we’re always very happy about these declines, we can’t lose sight of the fact that we have approximately 9 million underage drinkers in the country,” noted SAMHSA representative Rich Lucey.
“We as a country could all do a much better job…to really start to drive those numbers down because I don’t think any of us are comfortable with an alarmingly high rate of binge drinking among that population, especially when we know the consequences related to it,” Lucey added.