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TABLE 2-3 Prevalence Rates for Eighth, Tenth, and Twelfth Graders: 1993-2002 (in percent)

 

1993

1994

1995

1996

Lifetime

 

8th Grade

55.7

55.8

54.5

55.3

10th Grade

71.6

71.1

70.5

71.8

12th Grade

80.0

80.4

80.7

79.2

Annual

 

8th Grade

45.4

46.8

45.3

46.5

10th Grade

63.4

63.9

63.5

65.0

12th Grade

72.7

73.0

73.7

72.5

Last 30 Days

 

8th Grade

24.3

25.5

24.6

26.2

10th Grade

38.2

39.2

38.8

40.4

12th Grade

48.6

50.1

51.3

50.8

Five or More Drinks in a Row in the Previous 2 Weeks

8th Grade

13.5

14.5

14.5

15.6

10th Grade

23.0

23.6

24.0

24.8

12th Grade

27.5

28.2

29.8

30.2

NOTE: Underline indicates an increase from the previous year.

SOURCE: Data from Johnston et al. (2003).

Harvard School of Public Health survey (Wechsler et al., 2002b) indicated that while the percentage of abstainers increased between 1993 and 2001, both frequent heavy drinking (defined as three or more times in the past two weeks) and drinking to intoxication also increased. Trends in college drinking over the last decade have found that the rate of self-reported heavy drinking has remained at approximately 44 percent (Wechsler et al., 2002a). Nearly half (48 percent) of all the alcohol consumed by students attending 4-year colleges is consumed by underage students (Wechsler et al., 2002b).

Multiple studies have indicated that the most likely individuals to report participation in heavy drinking are white, male, fraternity members, under the age of 24, involved in athletics, who do not hold strong religious beliefs and have a tendency to socialize a great deal (for example, cf. Wechsler et al., 2002a; Kellogg, 1999; Presley et al., 2002). However, clearly not all students fitting this profile drink, and not all drinkers share these characteristics.

Alcohol consumption rates increase significantly during the first year of college: this increased use has been attributed by some to adjustment



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