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Binge Drinking Is Falling Among Teens In The U.S.

First Posted: Jun 12, 2015 09:11 AM EDT
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A new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows that the rate of underage drinking has significantly dropped within a ten year period. The survey studied rates of binge drinking and underage consumption among 30,000 individuals between the ages of 12 to 20 from 2003 to 2013. 

Findings revealed that underage drinking declined from 28.8 percent in 2003 to 22.7 percent in 2013, showcasing a distinct drop. Similarly, for binge drinking rates, the decline during the same period went from 19.3 percent to 14.2 percent. 

"When parents communicate clear expectations and they are supported by community efforts to prevent underage drinking, we can make a difference," said Frances M. Harding, director of SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, in a statement released by SAMHSA. "However, there are still 8.7 million current underage drinkers and 5.4 million current underage binge drinkers. This poses a serious risk not only to their health and to their future, but to the safety and well-being of others. We must do everything we can to prevent underage drinking and get treatment for young people who need it."

The SAMHSA has developed a campaign called "Talk. They Hear You," via a mobile app that helps parents begin conversations regarding alcohol with their children--aiming to help prevent potential issues and shed more light on the problem.

"Our target is to change social norms," Harding added. "Have norms been changed? Absolutely."

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