Teens are drinking significantly less than they used to.
Underage drinking among teens has reached a new low, ABC News reports. The percent of teens who said they have at least one drink per month dropped from 50.8% in 1991 to just 32.8% in 2015 in a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Despite the overall decrease, researchers say binge drinking is still a problem. Of those teens who reported drinking, 57.8% said they had five drinks in a row, and 43.8% said they had drunk at least eight drinks in one sitting.
Researchers examined data from the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which asks students to answer a self-administered questionnaire. The sample size ranged from 10,904 to 16,410 students between 1991 and 2015, according to ABC.
The new report found that binge drinking among teens has decreased from a high of 31.5% of teens in 1999 to 17.7% of teens in 2015.
Teen drinking has been falling for years, but the CDC and other groups are still concerned about underage drinking. Some research has shown binge drinking can lead to long-lasting problems, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration calls teen drinking a “considerable public health challenge.”
Researchers said one reason for the decrease in teen drinking may be state policies aimed at the issue, according to ABC. They say other policies such as taxes on alcohol, laws that regulate where people can buy or consume alcohol or rules around alcohol advertising might help curb teen drinking going forward.