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Data

This page contains links to the most recent underage drinking statistics provided by the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking agencies. The data provide information on the prevalence, trends, and consequences of underage drinking. In addition to these, different agencies provide related statistics that highlight different health and societal aspects of underage drinking.

Prevalence

National Surveys

Monitoring the Future
Since 1975, the National Institute on Drug Abuse has sponsored the annual Monitoring the Future Survey, which measures drug, alcohol, and cigarette use and related attitudes among adolescent students nationwide. Survey participants report their drug use behaviors across three time periods: lifetime, past year, and past month.

National Survey on Drug Use and Health
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health provides national and State-level data on the use of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs (including nonmedical use of prescription drugs) and mental health in the United States. This annual survey is supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and is the primary source of information on prevalence, patterns, and consequences in the general U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population, ages 12 and older. Data and findings are reported in a full survey report as well as in numerous special short reports related to underage drinking.

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) monitors priority health-risk behaviors and the prevalence of obesity and asthma among youth and young adults. The YRBSS includes the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), a national school-based survey of 9th- to 12th-grade students that is conducted every 2 years to record the prevalence and trend of behaviors—such as underage drinking—that place a young person’s health at risk. Behaviors that contribute to injuries, such as driving after consumption of alcohol, also are reported.

Local Data

Youth Online
Youth Online, a service of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lets you analyze national, State, and local Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System data from 1991 to 2009. Data from high school and middle school surveys are included. You can filter and sort on the basis of race/ethnicity, sex, grade, or site; create customized tables and graphs; and perform statistical tests by site and health topic, including “Alcohol and Other Drug Use.”

Special Populations

2011 Health Related Behavior (HRB) Survey: Active Duty Service Members
The U.S. Department of Defense periodically assesses health behaviors that affect the overall well-being of the Armed Forces and might impact military readiness. The survey questionnaire contains items about diet; exercise; drug, alcohol, and tobacco use; gender-specific issues; oral health; safety; and deployment. An executive summary of findings is available. Although statistics are not reported by age group, the percentage of service members ages 21 and younger ranges from 12 percent of the Coast Guard to 37 percent of the Marine Corps. (U.S. Department of Defense; 2013)

Policy

The Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS) provides detailed information on a wide variety of alcohol-related policies in the United States at both State and Federal levels. Detailed state-by-state information also is available, as well as informational resources of interest to alcohol policy researchers and others involved with alcohol policy issues.

Trends

NSDUH Data Review: Risk and Protective Factors and Initiation of Substance Use: Results From the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health
This report uses NSDUH data from 2002 to 2014 to assess changes in people’s perceptions of great risk of harm associated with alcohol and other drug use and the perceived availability of substances. Trends are reported for ages 12–17, 18–25, and adults ages 26 and older. Number of new initiates and age of initiation over time is presented, as well as changes in youth exposure to prevention messages. (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; October 2015)

Trends in the Prevalence of Behaviors that Contribute to Unintentional Injury: National YRBS: 1991-2013
This chart, based on the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Surveys from 1991–2013, compares the percentage of students in grades 9 to 12 who rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol during the prior month. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; no date)

Trends in the Prevalence of Alcohol Use: National YRBS: 1991-2013
This chart, based on the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey, shows the prevalence of current, binge, and lifetime alcohol use by students in grades 9 to 12 from 1991–2013. Percentage of students who consumed alcohol before age 13 also is presented. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; no date)

Surveillance Report #91: Trends in underage drinking in the United States: 1991-2009
This report is one of a series of reports that monitor trends in alcohol consumption and alcohol-related morbidity and mortality. It is intended to be useful to researchers, planners, policymakers, and other professionals interested in alcohol abuse and its related consequences. (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; 2011)

SAMHSA Short Reports on Underage Drinking
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), conducted annually by SAMHSA, provides national and state-level data on the use of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs (including nonmedical use of prescription drugs) and mental health in the United States. SAMHSA summarizes data and findings in a full survey report annually as well as in short reports related to underage drinking. Reports on special populations follow.

Consequences

Impact on Campuses

A Snapshot of Annual High-Risk College Drinking Consequences
This snapshot of annual high-risk college drinking consequences includes a concise list of facts outlining the effects of alcohol abuse on college campuses, communities, and students. (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; updated 2010)

Impact on Emergency Departments

Alcohol and Drug Combinations Are More Likely to Have a Serious Outcome Than Alcohol Alone in Emergency Department Visits Involving Underage Drinking
Nearly 188,000 alcohol-related emergency department visits in 2011 involved patients ages 12 to 20. This short report concludes that, of these visits, 20 percent resulted in a serious outcome including admission to the hospital, transfer to another health care facility, or death. Visits involving alcohol and other drugs were more likely than visits involving alcohol only to result in a serious outcome (33 vs. 12 percent). (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; July 2014)

The CBHSQ Report: A Day in the Life of American Adolescents: Substance Use Facts
This issue of The CBHSQ Report presents facts about young adults' substance use, including information on the initiation of substance use, past year substance use, emergency department visits, and receipt of substance use treatment. (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; June 2014)

The DAWN Report: Emergency Department Visits Involving Underage Alcohol Use in Combination With Other Drugs
This brief report highlights the strong relationship between the use of alcohol and other drugs among young people involved in an emergency department visit. Of the estimated 188,981 alcohol-related emergency department visits made by patients aged 12 to 20 in 2008, 70.0 percent involved alcohol only, and 30.0 percent involved alcohol in combination with other drugs. (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; January 2011)

Impact on Law Enforcement

Easy Access to FBI Arrest Statistics
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention provides a database of arrest statistics for 2006–2012, by offense, and for adults, juveniles, or all ages. Arrest statistics for youth ages 10 to 17 include driving under the influence, liquor laws, and drunkenness. (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice; no date)

Juvenile Justice Bulletin: Underage Drinking: Practice Guidelines for Community Corrections (PDF | 450 KB)
This bulletin offers 10 evidence-based practices for community supervision professionals who work with underage drinkers in developing a plan for screening youth, determining appropriate responses, creating a case plan, and providing treatment. The bulletin is part of OJJDP’s underage drinking bulletin series, which highlights the dangers of underage drinking and offers guidance to communities developing treatment and prevention programs. (U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; October 2012)

Impact on Transportation Safety

Traffic Safety Facts: Alcohol Impaired Driving
This factsheet, using 2013 data, summarizes alcohol-related fatalities, including those in which drivers were ages 16 to 20. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation; December 2014)

Related Statistics

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on Underage Drinking
Often called “the voice of CDC,” the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) series is CDC’s primary vehicle for scientific publication of timely, accurate, and objective public health information and recommendations. The data in the weekly MMWR are provisional, based on weekly reports to CDC by State health departments. Recent MMWRs related to underage drinking include:

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Alcohol Alerts
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Alcohol Alert is a quarterly bulletin that disseminates important research findings on a single aspect of alcohol abuse and alcoholism. A recent report related to underage drinking is:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Short Reports on Underage Drinking
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), conducted annually by SAMHSA, is a primary source of information on the prevalence, patterns, and consequences of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drug use and abuse in the general U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population, ages 12 and older. SAMHSA periodically publishes short reports on special topics based on NSDUH data. Reports related to underage drinking include: