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J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2017 Jul;78(4):540-548.

Magnitude and Trends in Heavy Episodic Drinking, Alcohol-Impaired Driving, and Alcohol-Related Mortality and Overdose Hospitalizations Among Emerging Adults of College Ages 18-24 in the United States, 1998-2014.

Author information

1
Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Bethesda, Maryland.
2
Kelly Government Solutions, Rockville, Maryland.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This article estimates percentages of U.S. emerging adults ages 18-24 engaging in past-month heavy episodic drinking and past-year alcohol-impaired driving, and numbers experiencing alcohol-related unintentional injury deaths and overdose hospitalizations between 1998 and 2014.

METHOD:

We analyzed national injury mortality data from coroner, census, and college enrollment statistics, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, and the Nationwide Inpatient Sample.

RESULTS:

From 1999 to 2005, percentages of emerging adults ages 18-24 reporting past-month heavy episodic drinking rose from 37.1% to 43.1% and then declined to 38.8% in 2014. Alcohol-impaired driving rose from 24% to 25.5% and then declined to 16.0%. Alcohol-related unintentional injury deaths increased from 4,807 in 1998 to 5,531 in 2005 and then declined to 4,105 in 2014, a reduction of 29% per 100,000 since 1998. Alcohol-related traffic deaths increased from 3,783 in 1998 to 4,114 in 2005 and then declined to 2,614 in 2014, down 43% per 100,000 since 1998. Alcohol-related overdose deaths increased from 207 in 1998 to 891 in 2014, a 254% increase per 100,000. Other types of nontraffic unintentional injury deaths declined. Alcohol-overdose hospitalizations rose 26% per 100,000 from 1998 to 2014, especially from increases in alcohol/other drug overdoses, up 61% (alcohol/opioid overdoses up 197%).

CONCLUSIONS:

Among emerging adults, a trend toward increased alcohol-related unintentional injury deaths, heavy episodic drinking, and alcohol-impaired driving between 1998 and 2005 was reversed by 2014. Persistent high levels of heavy episodic drinking and related problems among emerging adults underscore a need to expand individually oriented interventions, college/community collaborative programs, and evidence-supported policies to reduce their drinking and related problems.

PMID:
28728636
PMCID:
PMC5551659
DOI:
10.15288/jsad.2017.78.540
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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