2018 Monitoring the Future Survey: 12th Grade Underage & Binge Drinking Rates at Historic Lows

A major Federal study released today reported that underage and binge drinking rates among 12th graders are at their lowest levels since the study’s inception in 1975.

According to the 2018 Monitoring the Future Survey, jointly released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the University of Michigan, the proportion of 12th grade students reporting binge drinking at least once in the two weeks prior to the survey has declined 56 percent since its peak year in 1998.

The University of Michigan pointed to the progress among 12th graders as a key highlight of the survey stating in its press release, “Binge drinking significantly declined in 2018.”

The NIDA press release stated:

Binge drinking (five or more drinks in a row in the past two weeks) is down significantly among 12th graders, at 13.8 percent—down from 16.6 percent in 2017, and compared to 31.5 percent when the rates peaked in 1998. These findings represent the lowest rates seen for these alcohol measures since the survey began asking the questions.

“This is excellent news and our country is making important progress in reducing underage drinking, but our work is not done,” said Chris Swonger President and CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council and Responsibility.org.

Swonger stated that the spirits industry has been a part of this progress through the programs and educational initiatives of Responsibility.org, which provide parents with tools to talk to their children about alcohol.

This data debunks the claim by those who suggest that alcohol ads are causing teens to begin drinking or drink more.

Conducted by the University of Michigan’s 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 since 1975. In 2018, approximately 44,482 students, in grades 8, 10 and 12 representing 392 secondary schools across the country, participated in the survey.

Monitoring the Future Press Release

NIDA Press Release