Decline in Past Month Alcohol Use Among U.S. 8th Graders Reaches Record Low; Decline Among 10th and 12th Graders May Have Stalled

The percentage of 8th graders reporting past month use of alcohol reached a record low† in 2012, according to data from the national Monitoring the Future study. Approximately one-tenth (11%) of 8th graders reported drinking at least one sip of alcohol in the past month in 2012, compared to the peak prevalence of 26% in 1996. Past month prevalence rates among 10th and 12th graders reached record low levels in 2011, at 27% and 40%, respectively, but did not change significantly from 2011 to 2012 (see figure below). The decline in use among 12th graders in this survey is similar to the decline in past year use reported by college freshmen .

Adapted by the Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR)  from University of Michigan, “The Rise in Teen Marijuana Use Stalls, Synthetic Marijuana Use Levels, and Use of ‘Bath Salts’ Is Very Low,” Monitoring the Future press release, December 19, 2012. Available online at



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