2012 Monitoring the Future Results on Alcohol Abuse
Monitoring the Future is an annual survey of 8th, 10th, and 12th-graders conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, under a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health.
Since 1975, the survey has measured drug, alcohol, and cigarette use and related attitudes in 12th-graders nationwide. Eighth and 10th graders were added to the survey in 1991. Overall, 45,449 students from 395 public and private schools participated in the 2012 survey.
The results from 2012’s Monitoring the Future survey show that use of alcohol declined on all measures in 2011, bringing rates down to historic lows during the life of the study.
For 8th graders, these significant into 2012 for 30-day prevalence of drinking a 2-week prevalence of having five or more drinks in a row (binge drinking).
For 10th and 12th graders, however, the declines in alcohol abuse halted in 2012. In fact, there is some evidence to suggest a turn-around. In particular binge drinking among 12th graders increased significantly in 2012 by 2% points for a rise to 24%.
In clearer terms it meant that 25% of 10th and 12th graders surveyed had engaged in binge drinking two weeks prior to taking the survey.
The survey showed that the percentage of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders who had participated in binge drinking in the last two weeks was 5%, 16%, and 24%. These percentages are significantly lower than the high rates of binge drinking recorded in the 90’s which were 62%, 36%, and 25%.
Advice on Binge Drinking
from ACS’ Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Program
by: Connie Mayer, LMFT
Outpatient Counseling Services
What is binge drinking? When I ask teens they usually tell me it’s drinking to “get drunk”. During this past fall, our Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Program counselors have spoken with many parents and their seniors about college applications and what the college life will hold for them.
Parents are concerned especially about this issue of bingeing and the dangers that result from it. For instance, most traffic accidents involving older teens involve alcohol. Many parents have also heard about the dangers of alcohol poisoning ( the body’s inability to process the amount of alcohol consumed therefore shutting down from the toxic effects of the number of drinks in the short amount of time consumed).
Binge drinking is a social phenomenon amongst teens. The earlier your teen is
experimenting with alcohol the more concerning it is to experts in the field. Research shows that their is a higher chance of serious alcohol problems in later life when young teens begin drinking on a regular basis. When we talk to teens at ACS and explain binge drinking we talk about the “on/off switch”; by this we mean an individual’s internal awareness of their own limits.
The response we get shows us that some teens are aware of their alcoholic limit and stop at 2 or 3 drinks or know when they have to stop to get home and be sober. Other teens, like many we see in our Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Program, find that 2 or 3 drinks don’t even get them “buzzed” and they continue to drink more and more despite common sense or possible consequences.
My best advice and the advice I give to all my parents is that it is important to talk with your teen about the issue of drinking and bingeing. The initial response from your teen might be vagueness on the issue or uninterest, but it is important to just keep the dialogue open and ask thought provoking questions about the topic in general. Remember that you are not an expert – just a parent who loves their teen!