Get Help Today
Are you looking for treatment for your teen? The National Resource Center can help you choose the right program to help your teen get back on track.
Drug & Alcohol Stats
Binge Drinking Among Underage Persons
In 2000, almost one in five underage persons aged 12 to 20 was a binge drinker, drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion on at least one day in the past 30 days.
The rate of binge drinking among underage persons was almost as high as among adults aged 21 or older.
Underage persons who reported binge drinking were 7 times more likely to report using illicit drugs during the past month than underage persons who did not binge drink.
According to the 2000 NHSDA, an estimated 46 million persons aged 12 or older were binge drinkers. Of these, almost 7 million were younger than 21, the legal drinking age. The proportion of underage persons aged 12 to 20 who were binge drinkers (19 percent) was similar to that among adults aged 21 or older (21 percent) for whom alcohol use is legal. The percentage of underage persons who binged on alcohol increased with age, from 1 percent of 12 year olds to 39 percent of 20 year olds. Youths aged 12 to 16 had lower rates of binge drinking than the total population aged 12 or older, but persons aged 17 to 20 were more likely to report binge drinking during the past 30 days than the total population aged 12 or older.
The difference between males and females was less among those aged 20 or younger (21 percent males vs. 16 percent females) than among those aged 21 or older (30 percent males vs. 13 percent females). Underage females were more likely to report binge drinking (16 percent) than were females aged 21 or older (13 percent). Among underage persons, fewer Asians and blacks reported binge drinking than Hispanics, American Indians/Alaska Natives, or whites (Figure 3).
In 2000, underage persons who reported binge drinking (43 percent) were more likely to report past month use of any illicit drug than were their peers who did not binge drink (6 percent). Underage persons who reported binge drinking were almost 9 times more likely to have used marijuana/hashish during the past month and were more than 6 times more likely to have used any illicit drug other than marijuana during the past month compared with underage persons who did not binge drink. Underage binge drinkers were 11 times more likely to have used hallucinogens during the past month and 6 times more likely to have used psychotherapeutic drugs nonmedically during the past month than underage persons who did not binge drink. Among young adults aged 18 to 22, the rate of binge drinking was higher among full-time college students (41 percent) than among those who were not enrolled full-time as college students (36 percent). The rate of binge drinking increased with age among 18 to 21 year olds but was lower among 22 year olds regardless of college enrollment status. Differences in binge drinking rates by college enrollment status were greater for 19 and 20 year olds than others in this age group. The highest rates of binge drinking among full-time college students and other persons were among 21 year olds.
Source: SAMHSA 1999 NHSDA.
"In the United States, approximately three-fourths of all deaths among persons aged 10--24 years result from only four causes: motor-vehicle crashes, other unintentional injuries, homicide, and suicide. Results from the 1999 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey demonstrate that numerous high school students engage in behaviors that increase their likelihood of death from these four causes...[including alcohol and illicit drug use]" Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), Centers for Disease Control, Risk Youth Behavior Surveillance.
Is Your Teen Overweight?
Read about the psychological consequences of obesity in teens on Overweight Teen