TEENS ARE JUST SAYING “NO”
It appears that the ongoing fight against youth drinking is making progress. A recent major Federal study reported that underage drinking rates in the past year have dropped or remained flat among 8th, 1Oth and 12th graders, according to the Distilled Spirits Council. The 2OO9 Monitoring the Future Survey, jointly released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the University of Michigan, noted as a highlight of the survey that “From 2OO4 to 2OO9, decreases were observed in lifetime, past year, past month, and binge use of alcohol across the three grades.” According to the study, alcohol use has generally been in a long-term, gradual decline at all three grade levels, with 3O-day (or past month) prevalence having fallen from recent peak levels by over 4O percent among 8th graders, by over 25 percent among 1Oth graders, and by about one sixth among 12th graders. This year [2OO9], the 8th graders showed a continuation of that decline, while use in the upper grades remained flat. “Our country is making gradual but important progress in preventing and reducing underage drinking but much more needs to be done. Industry, parents and the entire community working together can continue make a difference,” said Dr. Peter Cressy President of the Distilled Spirits Council and a former university chancellor. Cressy noted that the spirits industry has been a part of this progress through its involvement in the FTC’s “We Don’t Serve Teens” campaign and through the programs of The Century Council, which provides parents with tools to talk to their children about alcohol. Conducted by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research and funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Monitoring the Future has tracked substance abuse among American high school students for 35 years. In 2OO9, approximately 46,O97 students, in grades 8, 1O and 12 representing 389 secondary schools across the country, participated in the survey.