State Policies On Alcohol Can Lower Youth Drinking

Elk Grove Village, IL—(ENEWSPF)—June 1, 2015. Alcohol is the most commonly used drug among teens, and accounts for more than 4,300 deaths annually among people under age 21. In a study, “Youth Drinking in the United States: Relationships With Alcohol Policies and Adult Drinking,” published in the July 2015 Pediatrics (published online June 1), researchers examined 29 different state policies on alcohol – such as higher alcohol taxes or laws governing the density of liquor stores — and measured their impact on the prevalence of youth drinking and binge drinking in states.

Researchers found population-oriented alcohol policies (i.e., those that do not target youth specifically) were associated with lower youth drinking prevalence and binge drinking prevalence. This was partly explained by the impact of such laws in reducing adult drinking. Researchers conclude that state alcohol policies, including those that do not target youth specifically, are linked to lower youth drinking and binge drinking.

According to the study authors, the findings suggest that comprehensive policy strategies that target the general population as well as youth are needed to reduce youth alcohol consumption and related problems.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 62,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.