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American Teens Say Getting Drunk, Is No Big Deal

According to study data from the Partnership at Drug, almost half of American teens see ‘no great risk’ in drinking 5 or more drinks per day.

The findings come from the 22nd annual Drug survey study of 2500 American high school youth, (commissioned by the Met Life Foundation).

Other survey findings include:

  • Marijuana use is on the rise. 39% of the teens surveyed admitted to using marijuana within the last year – up from 32% in 2008 (a 22% increase)
  • Ecstasy use is also on the rise, with 10% admitting to last year use, which is up from 6% in 2008 (a 65% increase)
  • 73% of teens have a friend who drinks alcohol at least once a week
  • Of those teens who reported drinking, the average age of first use was 14 Of teens who drink, 32% report drinking to forget troubles and 24% drink to deal with problems on the home front
  • Most drinking, 60%, is done to have fun. 25% of teens have ever used a prescription medication to get high and 27% of teens reported smoking tobacco within a month of being asked

Steve Pasierb, President of the partnership commented on the significance of almost one in two teens seeing very little risk in regular binge drinking, saying, “You’re seeing this weakness in this generation of teens’ attitudes around drug and alcohol use. It’s not like this generation of kids thinks they’re more bulletproof than others, but they really don’t see any harm in that heavy drinking.”

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