Binge Drinking Drops Among Teenagers The Checkup By PERRI KLASS, M.D. JULY 31, 2017 Although binge drinking among young people has declined, it’s still a concern for certain groups — especially girls, black adolescents and people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. American adolescents are binge drinking less than they used to, according to a new report. “It’s good news,” said Bohyun Joy Jang, a researcher at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, and the first author of a study that appeared in the May issue of the journal Pediatrics. The bad news, Dr. Jang said, is that frequent binge drinking is not decreasing as rapidly among members of lower socioeconomic groups, African-Americans and girls. The study showed that “frequent binge drinking” — at least two occasions of drinking five or more drinks in a row over the past two weeks — decreased among American adolescents over the period from 1991 to 2015. The study found, however, that drinking rates are decreasing faster among the economically better-off, and among boys. “Maybe some policy or some other intervention or prevention has worked,” Dr. Jang said. But it is “not equally effective across all these populations.” The study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The kinds of policies that are aimed at reducing underage alcohol consumption include stronger laws about ID checks, minimum ages for alcohol sellers, servers and bartenders, and keg registration requirements. And of course, there have been numerous efforts made to educate adolescents about the risks of heavy alcohol use. Dr. Jang said that adolescent drinking and binge drinking have been decreasing since the early 2000s , but that this study shows a decrease specifically in the pattern of frequent binge drinking.
- Fall '15