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Underage Drinking Continues Record Decline


Brewers, Beer Importers Praise Study Results

WASHINGTON, DC – A recentrelease of an annual study of drug and alcohol use conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) found that while marijuana use was on the rise, underage drinking continued a trend downward in 2013.

Beer Institute President and CEO Jim McGreevy issued the following statement in response:

“While there is always more work to do, the fact that fewer underage youth are drinking is welcome news. America’s brewers and beer importers are committed to responsibility, and that means we are putting real money and real effort into our partnerships with law enforcement and community leaders to reduce underage drinking. These numbers prove that when we all work together, we can make a difference.”

The 2013 numbers demonstrate broad decline of underage alcohol use:

  • Current drinking among 12-17 year-olds has declined 34 percent since 2002, to a record-low level.
  • Binge drinking among 12-17 year-olds has declined 42 percent since 2002, to a record-low level.
  • Heavy drinking among 12-17 year-olds has declined 52 percent since 2002, to a record-low level.

The data released by HHS coincides with the 25th annual observance of National Recovery Month by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Beer Institute member companies invest in hundreds of programs and initiatives to support public safety, education and prevention of underage drinking. Brewers and importers encourage parents to talk with their teens about making good, safe decisions. Research shows that by far parents have the most influence on teens’ drinking decisions.

NSDUH is an annual survey of approximately 68,000 people throughout the country, aged 12 and older. The report findings are available on the SAMHSA web site here.

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


The Beer Institute, established in 1986, is the national trade association for the brewing industry, representing both large and small brewers, as well as importers and industry suppliers. The Institute is committed to the development of sound public policy and to the values of civic duty and personal responsibility: Connect with us @BeerInstitute and on Facebook.