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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Underage Drinking in America

Alcohol is by far the easiest drug for teenagers and young adults to get their hands on. There is hardly a home in America that does not have some form of alcohol present, increasing teenagers' access to this substance. According to a new government report, one-quarter of 12-to-20-year-olds say they drank alcohol in the past month. Unbelievably, almost 9 percent of teenagers said they purchased their own alcohol the last time they drank.

The new report was conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The findings showed:
  • 26.6 percent of persons ages 12 to 20 drank alcohol in the past month. 
  • Vermont had the highest rate of underage drinking at (37 percent). 
  • Utah had the lowest rate at (14.3 percent). 

“Underage drinking should not be a normal part of growing up. It’s a serious and persistent public health problem that puts our young people and our communities in danger,” SAMHSA Administrator Pamela Hyde said in a news release. “Even though drinking is often glamorized, the truth is that underage drinking can lead to poor academic performance, sexual assault, injury and even death.”

The report found New York had one of the highest rates of underage youth who illegally purchased alcohol (15 percent), compared to New Mexico at 2.5 percent and 2.6 percent in Oregon and Idaho.
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