Alcohol is the most common illicit substance used during adolescence. Heavy use is associated with negative outcomes such as problems in school and the workplace, being involved in fights, criminal activities, or motor vehicle crashes, resulting in injuries as well as death.64 Binge drinking is a common pattern of alcohol abuse defined here as five or more alcoholic beverages in a row or during a single occasion in the previous two weeks, is a common pattern of alcohol abuse. Early onset of binge drinking may be especially problematic, potentially increasing the likelihood of negative outcomes including alcohol use disorder. While overall trends of binge drinking continue to decline among adolescents, examining alcohol use by race and ethnicity can help us to better understand who is at greatest risk for negative consequences.
NOTE: Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race. Data on race and Hispanic origin are collected separately.
SOURCE: National Institute on Drug Abuse, Monitoring the Future Survey.
64 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. A Developmental Perspective on Underage Alcohol Use. Alcohol Alert. July 2009: No. 78. Retrieved from http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/AA78/AA78.pdf