Adolescent Alcohol Use:
Results From the Monitoring the Future Study

On December 17, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research released the results of the most recent Monitoring the Future Study.  Though the data finds that "alcohol use among teens has been fairly stable over the past several years," the statistics show that there is still cause for concern.  First, alcohol remains the most widely used substance among adolescents in grades 8-12.  For example in 1999, 24% of 8th grade students, 40% of 10th grade students, and 51% of 12th grade students reported using alcohol in the past 30 days, compared to 10% of 8th grade students, 19% of 10th grade students, and 23% of 12th grade students who reported using marijuana in the past 30 days. Second, although alcohol use has remained steady, and in some instances declined among 12th grade students, use of alcohol among younger students, in 8th and 10th grade, has increased noticeably over the past year.  Key findings include:

8th Grade Students
  • 24% of 8th grade students reported using alcohol during the past 30 days in 1999, compared to 23% in 1998.
  • 18.5% reported being drunk during the past year in 1999, compared to 17.9% in 1998.
  • 9.4% reported being drunk within the past 30 days in 1999, compared to 8.4% in 1998.
  • 15.2% reported consuming five or more drinks in a row within the last 2 weeks in 1999, compared to 13.7% in 1998.

 

10th Grade Students
  • 70.6% of 10th grade students reported using alcohol during their lifetime in 1999, compared to 69.8% in 1998.
  • 63.7% reported using alcohol during the past year in 1999, compared to 62.7% in 1998.
  • 40% reported using alcohol within the past 30 days in 1999, compared to 38.8% in 1998.
  • 40.9% reported being drunk during the past year in 1999, compared to 38.3% in 1998.*
  • 22.5% reported being drunk within the past 30 days in 1999, compared to 21.1% in 1998.*
  • 25.6% reported consuming five or more drinks in a row within the last 2 weeks in 1999, compared to 24.3% in 1998.*

 

12th Grade Students
  • 80% of 12th grade students reported using alcohol during their lifetime in 1999, compared to 81.4% in 1998.
  • 73.8% reported using alcohol during the past year in 1999, compared to 74.3 in 1998.
  • 53.2% reported being drunk during the past year in 1999, compared to 52% in 1998.
  • 30.8% reported consuming five or more drinks in a row within the last 2 weeks in 1999, compared to 31.5% in 1998.


*The highest percentage since nationally representative samples of
10th grade students began to be collected in 1991.

 

For more information on the Monitoring the Future Study:
view http://monitoringthefuture.org/data/99data.html#1999data-drugs, or contact the
National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information at (800) 729-6686

December 21, 1999