WASHINGTON — A major Federal study released today reported that underage drinking is at its lowest level since the study’s inception in 1975, according to the Distilled Spirits Council.

The 2013 Monitoring the Future survey, jointly released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the University of Michigan, noted that alcohol consumption rates among 8th, 10th and 12th graders have continued their two-decade decline, once again hitting record lows in 2013.

Further, the survey also showed that teen binge drinking continued its long-term decline.  Among 10th and 12th graders, binge drinking fell 2 percent and remained unchanged among 8th graders.

The University of Michigan press release noted, “The use of alcohol by teens has dropped dramatically over roughly the past two decades – particularly among the youngest teens – and continues to drop in 2013… All three grades are now at the lowest point that they have been at least since the mid-1990’s, and likely longer.”

Distilled Spirits Council President Peter Cressy, commenting on the progress on underage drinking, stated, “This underscores that through effective partnerships with industry, government and communities, we can work together to produce historic results.”

He added, “While more needs to be done, this shows that the ‘sky-is-falling’ rhetoric and misguided policy prescriptions of anti-alcohol advocacy groups are way off base.”

Cressy stated that the advocacy groups’ continual call for “population-based controls,” including reduced market access for adults, excessive taxation, and advertising bans, are unfounded and not evidence-based.

Cressy noted that the spirits industry has been a part of this progress through the programs of The Century Council and its support of other educational programs, including the Federal Trade Commission’s “We Don’t Serve Teens Program,” which provides parents with tools to talk to their children about alcohol.

Conducted by the University of Michigan and funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Monitoring the Future has tracked substance abuse among American high school students since 1975.  Approximately 45,449 students from 395 public and private schools participated in this year’s Monitoring the Future survey.


Monitoring the Future – Past 30 day consumption data

Monitoring the Future Tables – Binge data

USA Today article on Monitoring the Future Results