Addiction Treatment Magazine, a resource for addiction recovery, has released a new study that reveals the states with the highest and lowest rates of underage drinking.
According to a release posted on the website of the publication, researchers looked at how many young people aged between 12 and 20 had consumed alcohol in the past month. They also considered whether they had binge drank, which is defined as drinking four or more drinks in one sitting.
Data was gathered from the Substance Use and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA), based on the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
According to the press release, the study found that Vermont had the highest percentage of drinkers aged between 12 and 20 years in the U.S.
More than 14% of the minors in the State had binge drank.
Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts are also states with high rates.
The study revealed that in Rhode Island, 22% of youths between 12 and 20 years old consume alcohol every month, and 14% of minors drink four or more drinks at a time.
In New Hampshire, 20,6% of those aged 12-20 had consumed alcohol within the past month.
Massachusetts accounted for 20.4% of the total.
The top 10 states are Oregon, Iowa Wisconsin, Colorado Maine, and North Dakota.
Mississippi, on the other hand, has the lowest rate of underage alcohol consumption, with just 9.7% of those underage consuming alcohol.
According to the study, it also has the lowest rate of binge drinking, only 5.4%.
Utah has the lowest alcohol consumption rates among underage people, with 11% and 6.8% respectively.
North Carolina is ranked third, with 11.3% of minors drinking alcohol in the past month.
Alabama, at 12% is on the low end. Arkansas follows at 12.3%.
The final 10 include Georgia, Tennessee, Idaho and Texas.
In a press release, a spokesperson from Addiction Treatment Magazine said: “Underage drinking is not a secret in the United States. It can cause serious health problems, impair judgment, and even lead to dependency and addiction.”
These findings offer an interesting insight into the areas of the country where underage drinking has the highest prevalence, with Vermont topping the list. Although there has been progress in reducing the underage drinking rate, the issue is still of concern. Continued efforts are needed to address the issue and protect the safety and health of young people.” the spokesperson added.
Dr. Chris Tuell was not involved with the study but said he didn’t find the results surprising.
In an interview with Fox News Digital, he said that the Northeast had higher rates of underage alcohol consumption for 20 years. “There is no clear reason for why these rates exist.”
He said that Vermont may have topped the list because it’s a rural state, with the most colleges and universities per capita.
Tuell stated that overall, the results indicate that alcohol use among young people is still a problem.
He warned that “the research is clear” that drinking alcohol before 15 years of age increases the risk of alcoholism and addiction for life.
Early alcohol consumption — drinking before age 14 — is associated with a 7-fold greater risk of developing an alcohol addiction than someone who starts drinking after age 21.
The expert also noted that other possible causes for high rates of alcohol consumption in certain states could be the packaging of the alcohol, which is targeted at youths, including flavored drinks, and the association between alcohol use and sporting events.
Tuell stated that the video promotes drinking alcohol among young people as an essential part of fun.
He also stated that “a parent’s stance on underage alcohol is paramount, and one of the strongest factors to protect against underage consumption.”