Worrying about your kids drinking? This new survey result may take over some of your concerns.
A report released Thursday from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found underage drinking among U.S. residents between the ages 12 and 20 dropped 6.1 percent. Underage binge drinking declined by 5.1 percent.
The survey scrutinized the years 2002 to 2013. In the final year of the study, 22.7% of the nation’s young people reported that they had an alcoholic drink in the last 30 days.
The decline is good, but “we can’t lose sight of the fact that we have approximately 9 million underage drinkers in the country,” said Rich Lucey, special assistant to the director at SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse.
Over the past 10 years, Lucey has attributed the drop to an increased focus on reducing underage drinking at the federal, state and local levels.
He expressed in the last 10 years there have been at least 20 laws mandating stricter penalties for fake IDs, hosting drinking parties for people underage, known as social host laws, and zero tolerance policies for underage drinking and driving.