Heavy Episodic Drinking Drops among Young People in U.S.

According to nation-wide data, heavy episodic drinking (so-called “binge drinking”) among adolescents and young adults in the U.S. has declined significantly between 1985 and 2009.

The study is based on data from repeated surveys of U.S. households across the country as part of the National Household Survey on Drug Use and Health including information from 809,281 persons. Consuming five or more drinks at any one sitting within the previous month was defined as heavy episodic drinking.

Declines in so-called binge drinking were consistent across gender, race and ethnicity with the exception of Hispanics. The authors suggest that targeted alcohol education and intervention for Hispanics might be desirable.


  • Keys, K.M. and Miech, R. Age, period, and ch]ohort effects in heavy episodic drinking in the US from 1985 to 2009. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2013, ePub. PMID 23433898. DOI 10.1016/j.drugallcdep.2013.01.019

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