Teen drinking on the decline in Alaska, survey says

Posted on October 14, 2013 

From Kyle Hopkins in Anchorage --

Drinking among Alaska high school students is on the decline, according to a state study released today.

The trend dovetails with a dip in underage drinking nationwide. According to the Alaska Youth Risk Behavior Survey:

-- The percentage of students at traditional high schools who had at least one drink in the previous month dropped from 39.7 percent in 2007 to 22.5 percent this year.

-- Binge drinking rates in the prior month dropped from 25.8 percent of those surveyed in 2007 to 12.8 percent in 2013.

Read the full report here.

The findings are based on a volunteer survey of 9th through 12-graders conducted by the state last spring. Drinking rates were far higher at alternative schools, the survey found.

In 2010, underage drinking cost the Alaska public $52 million in medical costs alone, according to the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation.

I've asked the state Health Department for a little feedback on why drinking would be down among Alaska teens. Any thoughts?


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