New study: Teen drinking rates are historically low

A new study reports that teen drinking rates have reached historically low rates.

According to the "2016 Monitoring the Future Study," underage drinking rates among eighth, tenth and twelfth graders declined significantly this year.

The survey, jointly released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the University of Michigan, notes, "[f]or all three grades both annual and monthly prevalence of alcohol use are at historic lows over the life of the study. Both measures continued to decline in all three grades in 2016.”

The study says the proportion of students reporting binge drinking at least once in the two weeks prior to the survey has fallen by a half or more since the 1990s.

“Key to this success is educating parents and other adults about the consequences of providing alcohol to teens,” said Distilled Spirits Council President & CEO Kraig R. Naasz. “While there is more work to do, these historic declines in teen drinking underscore the effectiveness of public-private partnerships.”

Naasz noted that the spirits sector has been a part of this progress through continued support of the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility and the Federal Trade Commission’s “We Don’t Serve Teens” program, which provides parents with tools to talk to their children about alcohol. Per  a recent USA Today article, teens are drinking and smoking less, and using fewer drugs.

“Monitoring the Future," conducted by the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research and funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, has tracked substance abuse among American high school students for 42 years. In 2016, approximately 45,000 students in grades 8, 10 and 12 representing 360 secondary schools across the country, participated in the survey.

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