HOUSTON, TX - Promising news that calls attention to a major problem; underage drinking in America. A new government study finds alcohol use among teens is on the decline. Here are the sobering statistics. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration announced a drop of just over 6%, of underage drinking in 12 to 20-year-olds from 2002 to 20013. Alcohol bingeing in teens has also seen a drop of just over 5%. Promising news, yes! But experts want more focus on the bigger picture.
Alexia Hunter, Program Specialist for Mothers Against Drunk Driving says, "This is great news. We are excited to hear that the number of underage drinking has declined. However we want to continue to have focus on prevention efforts, and to make sure that we're getting the word out that although it's declined, it has not been eradicated." MADD knows all to well the problems associated with drinking. Hunter goes on to say, "On average, one in 6 teens binge drink. However only one in 100 parents believe that their teens binge drink. So if we could reach those parents and let them know that this is happening, as a preventative measure, they're able to go back and talk to their teens about alcohol use."
Anti-alcohol programs over the last 10 years from federal, state and local levels might be the reason for the drop in underage drinking. Still, experts say real change starts at the home. Parents, along with their teens, need to be educated on the dangers of underage drinking. Let's hope these sobering statistics continue to drop, one day at a time.