Thursday, March 19, 2009

State Releases Report on Underage and Binge Drinking

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has released its second biennial report on underage and high-risk drinking in Pennsylvania. The report is required under act 85 of 2006, and provides information on levels and trends of underage drinking, the success of prevention programs throughout the state and strategies that have proven successful.

Some statistics of interest from the report:

- There is a decrease in 6Th, 8Th, 10Th and 12Th graders willingness to try alcohol.
- 2007 marked the lowest total number of underage drinking drivers involved in crashes in the Commonwealth.
- Since 2001 Pennsylvania has noticed a delay in the average age of alcohol experimentation by six months.
- Pennsylvania Seniors (12Th Grade) are similar to the national averages for binge drinking and past 30 day alcohol consumption.
- 3% more college students in Pennsylvania have used alcohol in their life compared to the national average.

Acting director for the bureau of alcohol education Leslie Coombe says it is important that the state distinguish local statistics from statewide numbers and vice versa when deciding on funding levels for local prevention programs and services. Coombe says that even though some numbers, like the 6 month delay in the average age of alcohol experimentation, may seem trivial they are in fact signs that progress is being made and that any delay in this statistic betters the chances of the children from having alcohol dependency later in life.

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