Teenage Drinking Continues to Drop

Contrary to common belief, the consumption of alcohol continues to decline among young people across the United States and fewer are drinking and driving.

“Bad as it may seem, it’s not nearly so big a problem as everyone thinks it is,” reports Dr. Robert Foss, senior research scientist at the Highway Research Safety Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “ And it’s much less a problem than it was 20 years ago.,” he emphasizes.

Dr. Foss says that when people are asked how much underage drinking is going on, “they almost always way overshoot the reality.” Correcting the common misperception that a lot of people drink and drive has proven successful in reducing actual drinking and driving in the state of Montana. The technique is called the social norms marketing approach and it is widely used to reduce drinking problems.

Although alcohol abuse among young people continues to drop, it’s still much too high . We need to continue the use of successful approaches such as social norms marketing.


  • Crouch, Michelle and Munn, Lisa H. Teenage Drinking on the decline: Number of teens driving drunk drops steadily statewide. Charlotte Observer, April 29, 2006.