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Teen drinking on the decline in Alaska, survey says

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From Kyle Hopkins in Anchorage --

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

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

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-- 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.

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

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Read the full report here.

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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.

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

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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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Anchorage