How many teens drink alcohol?

Alcohol is the most commonly used substance by teens. However, teens’ alcohol use continues to drop. In 2019, rates of past-year alcohol use by students in 10th and 12th grades were at a 5-year low.

Rates of binge drinking among students in 10th and 12th grades were also at a 5-year low. (Binge drinking is defined as drinking five or more drinks in a row in the past 2 weeks.) According to the  Monitoring the Future study, 14.4 percent of students in 12th grade reported binge drinking in 2019, compared to 19.4 percent in 2014. Among students in 10th grade, 8.5 percent reported binge drinking compared to 12.6 percent in 2014.1

Monitoring the Future 2019: Alcohol use continues its decline. See table below for numerical representation

The chart below shows the percentage of teens who used alcohol in 2019.

Swipe left or right to scroll.

Monitoring the Future Study: Trends in Prevalence of Alcohol for 8th Graders, 10th Graders, and 12th Graders; 2019 (in percent)*
Drug Time Period 8th Graders 10th Graders 12th Graders
Alcohol Lifetime 24.50 43.10 58.50
Past Year 19.30 37.70 52.10
Past Month 7.90 18.40 29.30
Daily 0.20 0.60 [1.70]

For more statistics on teen drug use, see NIDA’s Monitoring the Future study.

1 National Institute on Drug Abuse. Vaping of marijuana on the rise among teens [Press release]. Rockville, MD. December 2019. Available at https://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/news-releases/2019/12/vaping-marijuana-rise-among-teens.