Statement of Beer Institute President Joe McClain on the HHS Survey Showing Record-Low Level of Teen Drinking

Sep 14, 2011, 12:36 ET from The Beer Institute

WASHINGTON, Sept. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Beer Institute President Joe McClain issued the following statement on the release of the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which showed the rates of underage drinking declined to record-low levels:  

"Findings from the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health demonstrate the collective efforts of many – including parents, educators, retailers, community leaders, law enforcement, elected officials and members of the beer industry – are having a positive impact in reducing underage drinking. Just last week, we, along with our member companies, proudly announced our continued support of the federal government's 'We Don't Serve Teens' program to help parents and other adults effectively talk about the subject of underage drinking with teens. Efforts like these contribute to the record-low levels of teen drinking we are seeing, but there is still more work to be done. This positive news should only embolden our efforts to continue helping teens make responsible choices."

According to the report released by HHS:

  • The rate of current alcohol consumption among youths aged 12 to 20 declined 3 percent since 2009 and 9 percent since 2002 to 26.3 percent, a record low.
  • The rate of current alcohol use among youths aged 12 to 17 is also at a record low.  The rate was 13.6 percent in 2010, down 7 percent from the 2009 rate of 14.7 percent and 23 percent lower than the 2002 rate.  
  • Youth binge and heavy drinking rates in both the 12 to 17 and 12 to 20 age groups were also at their lowest rates in 2010.

These findings are consistent with record-low declines observed in other recent underage drinking national studies, including the University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future Study and the CDC's Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

The Beer Institute and its members have invested hundreds of millions of dollars over the past three decades in community-based programs to help prevent underage drinking and to support public safety, education and prevention campaigns. Brewers and importers also have independently distributed millions of guidebooks, videos and other educational materials to help parents talk with their children about underage drinking, as well as tools and resources to help retailers check and verify IDs and prevent sales to minors.

The results of the HHS survey are available at

The Beer Institute, established in 1986, is the national trade association for the brewing industry, representing both large and small brewers, as well as importers and industry suppliers. The Institute is committed to the development of sound public policy and to the values of civic duty and personal responsibility:

SOURCE The Beer Institute