Binge drinking by high school students
Statistics from the 2009 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey* indicates that approximately 79,000 deaths per year are caused by excessive alcohol use. More than half of these deaths were caused by binge drinking by adults and teenagers.
Binge drinking is defined as consuming 5 or more alcoholic drinks within a couple of hours (for men), and 4 or more drinks for women. Excessive alcohol use is the third leading cause of death in the United States.
The survey included 16,410 students from 158 high schools. The results show that most youths who drink do so to the point of intoxication. The prevalence of binge drinking among boys decreased between 1993 and 2009 but remained the same among girls. The peak years are between 18 and 24 declining with increasing age between 25 and 34. Excessive alcohol use and binge drinking increases with grade: the prevalence among high school seniors is more than twice that of 9th grade students.
*Reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, December 8, 2010,Vol. 304, No. 23, Page 2474.