SAMHSA Survey Results Show Continued Decline in Youth Drinking

Yesterday, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released findings from their 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), which showed that youth drinking (defined as ages 12-17) continues to decline - from 15.9 percent in 2007 to 14.6 percent in 2008, a significant decline and the lowest that it has been since 2002.

The 2008 NSDUH findings included additional good news regarding youth and alcohol consumption: youth binge drinking continues to decline, from 9.7 percent in 2007 to 8.8 percent in 2008; and in 2008, the number of persons aged 12 or older who drove under the influence of alcohol at least once in the past year dropped from 14.2 percent in 2002 to 12.4 percent.

"It is encouraging to see the decline in youth drinking, but there is still a great deal of work to be done - we want to see those numbers continue to drop even further," said Beer Institute President Jeff Becker. "Brewers and beer importers work closely with lawmakers, law enforcement, community groups and others to reduce the rates of teen drinking. As the new data shows, this kind of important collaboration is having a positive impact."

For the third consecutive year, Beer Institute (BI) and its members are proud to highlight the federal government's "We Don't Serve Teens" program that provides parents and other adults with tools and information they need to reduce teen drinking.

Support for this effort is just one example of the brewing industry's commitment to helping prevent misuse of its products. Throughout the nation, producers and importers of malt beverages are deeply involved in the communities in which they do business. They share a long-standing commitment to reducing illegal underage drinking and drunk driving. In fact, brewers and distributors have spent more than three quarters of a billion dollars since 1982 to support public safety, education and prevention campaigns to promote responsibility and curb alcohol abuse.

For more information on the beer industry's responsibility initiatives, visit

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