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Alcohol is the most commonly used substance

among young people in the United States.


Data from several national surveys document the use of alcohol among young people. The 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that among high school students, during the past 30 days:

  • 29% drank alcohol

  • 14% binge drank

  • 5% of drivers drove after drinking alcohol

  • 17% rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol

Rates of current and binge drinking among high school students have generally been declining in recent decades. Although males historically had higher rates, in 2019, female high school students were more likely to drink alcohol and binge drink than male high school students.

According to the CDC, other national surveys find:

  • 19% of young people aged 12 to 20 years reported drinking alcohol

  • 11% reported binge drinking in the past 30 days 

  • 8% of 8th-grade students and 29% of 12th-grade students reported drinking alcohol during the past 30 days 

  • 4% of 8th-grade students and 14% of 12th-grade students reported binge drinking during the past two weeks 

Drinking Wine
Not All Drinks Are Created Equal

REMINDER: Not all drinks are created equal. That is why it’s important to know how much alcohol your drink contains. In the United States, one “standard” drink contains roughly 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is found in:

  • 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits = about 40% alcohol

  • 5 ounces of wine = about 12% alcohol

  • 12 ounces of regular beer = about 5% alcohol


Learn more: Alcohol Misuse Prevention in Maine | MeCDC | DHHS

If you or someone you know is struggling to manage their relationship with alcohol, resources can be found at:

What Families Need to Know & Talking to Your Kids

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"Talk. They Hear You."Discussion Starter Video 

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