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J Addict Med. 2009 Dec;3(4):204-10. doi: 10.1097/ADM.0b013e31818fcc2c.

Assessment of source and type of alcohol consumed by high school students: analyses from four States.

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  • 1From the Department of Health Science (JLC), Association for Prevention Teaching and Research, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL; Alcohol Team, Division of Adult and Community Health (JLC, DEN, RDB); and Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (JWM), National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.



: This study provides population-based estimates of the source and type of alcohol usually consumed by high school students in 4 states and assessed their relationship to drinking patterns.


: Pooled data were used from 4 states (Arkansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Wyoming) that included questions from the 2005 Youth Risk Behavior Survey for high school students (total N = 13,504). Logistic regression models were used to determine whether the drinking pattern for these students was independently associated with alcohol source or usual type of beverage.


: Overall, 29.7% of high school students in these 4 states drank in a binge pattern, 13.2% were current drinkers who did not binge drink, and 57.1% were nondrinkers. Approximately one-third of the high school students who reported current alcohol use in these 4 states obtained their alcohol by giving money to someone else to purchase it. Liquor was the usual type of alcohol consumed by 38.7% of students who drank, followed by beer (21.3%), and malt beverages (21.1%). Youth who drank in a binge pattern were 3 times more likely to give someone money to buy alcohol for them and 2 times more likely to consume either liquor or beer as their usual alcoholic beverage compared with current drinkers who did not binge drink.


: These findings emphasize that when implementing evidence-based strategies to prevent underage drinking, such as enforcement of underage drinking laws and increasing alcohol excise taxes, attention should be paid to the source of and the usual type of alcohol consumed, and how these vary by drinking pattern.

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