- Only 40.0 percent of adolescents perceived great risk from having five or more drinks of alcohol once or twice a week.
- Females were more likely than males to perceive great risk from having five or more drinks of alcohol once or twice a week.
- The percentage of adolescents who perceived great risk associated with having five or more drinks of alcohol once or twice a week decreased with age.
The Scope of Teen Drinking Today
The scope of teen alcohol use shows an overall decline in teen drinking and a continued decline is expected as the rate of use in young teens is also declining. Notably, the teen binge drinking rates showed a decline for all grades in the 2010 Monitoring the Future Study. These rates measure the percent of teenagers who drank to get drunk - 5+ drinks at one time - within the last two weeks. The current rates are:
- 5.0% of 8th graders,
- 14.7% of 10th graders,
- and 26.8% of 12th graders.
The binge drinking rates differ from the 'one drink in the last 30 days' mark because of the reasoning behind the drinking. When a teen drinks to get drunk, they are looking for an escape or already have an addiction. When teens have one drink it could be for any number of reasons like they could be experimenting, feeling peer pressure or beginning to develop a drinking problem. Here is the percent of teens who had consumed at least one drink in the 30 days prior to being surveyed:
- 13.8% of 8th graders,
- 28.9% of 10th graders,
- and 41.2% of 12th graders.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) looks at the scope of the entire population of Americans and alcohol use then compares age groups to the whole. In 2009, the percent of Americans age 12 and older that used alcohol in the 30 days prior to being surveyed is as follows:
- 51.9% used at least once,
- 23.7% had binged (5+ drinks within 2 hours),
- and 6.8% drank heavily (5+ drinks on 5+ occasions).
For the 12-17 age range:
- 14.7% used at least once,
- 8.8% had binged (5+ drinks within 2 hours),
- and 2.1% drank heavily (5+ drinks on 5+ occasions).