The study was from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or SAMHSA.
The study revealed that drinking dropped from 28.2 percent to 22.7 percent from 2002 to 2013. Although drinking rates are on the decline but alcohol remains to be the top vice among teenagers, followed by tobacco at 16.9 percent and illicit drugs at 13.6 percent.
The survey has analyzed data from the National Survey for Drug Use and Health, which assessed the drinking habits of teenagers 12 to 20 years old.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC, youth who participate in underage drinking will lead to consequence such as physical and sexual assault, alcohol poisoning, increased drunk driving risk, unwanted pregnancies, memory problems and falling grades in school to name a few.
Binge drinking is linked to major diseases, such as neurological damage, high blood pressure, sexually transmitted disease, liver disease and diabetes.
Alcohol is also a contributing factor in 4,300 deaths in underage drinking every year.
Rich Lucey, special assistant to the director at SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse said, “While we’re always very happy about these declines, we can’t lose sight of the fact that we have approximately 9 million underage drinkers in the country.”
Numerous local and national organizations have rallied in informing the youth about the dangers of binge drinking and drunk driving.
SAMHSA have even launched a media campaign for preventing underage drinking and an app called “Talk. They Hear You” is released which will help parents talk about the dangers of alcohol with their children.
Frances M. Harding, director of SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention said, “When parents communicate clear expectations and they are supported by community efforts to prevent underage drinking, we can make a difference.”
Harding said, “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.”