An Overwhelming Majority of Kids Don’t Drink: Encouraging News about Underage Drinking Rates

Parents and educators—You are doing an amazing job empowering kids to say “YES” to a healthy lifestyle and “NO” to underage drinking. The statistics don’t lie—underage drinking is down and overwhelmingly, the majority of kids don’t drink. Ask, Listen, Learn resources are here to help you. Read on for more information, and keep up the great work! 

The 2023 Monitoring the Future study found that alcohol consumption among America’s teens is at or near record low levels and below pre-pandemic prevalence rates.

Each of these variables plays a contributing role in the long-term trends in underage alcohol consumption, and although we are delighted to see these numbers so low, we will continue our work until underage drinking has been eliminated altogether. 

Conversations about the effects of underage drinking on the developing brain are important, and they work! Delaying the onset of alcohol consumption is critical, as early drinking is a risk factor for alcohol use disorders. Adults who report having their first drink of alcohol before the age of 15 were 6.5 times more likely to experience an alcohol use disorder than those who didn’t start drinking before age 21. (SAMHSA, 2017 NSDUH). 

Thank you again for all you do to keep kids alcohol-free. Underage drinking is down, and kids are making smart decisions that will aid them in reaching their goals for the future!