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Alcohol use rising for Nebraska's youth

December 29, 2010
by News release
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Lincoln, Neb. – According to a recent survey conducted by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS), alcohol is the most commonly used substance in the state. In fact, Nebraska’s rates of underage drinking, binge drinking and alcohol-impaired driving continue to be higher than the rest of the nation. While alcohol misuse is a cause for concern among people of all ages, it’s particularly concerning for young adults who tend to be the most likely age group to misuse alcohol and suffer the consequences. The Nebraska Young Adult Alcohol Opinion Survey randomly sampled 19-25 year olds in the state. The results found that:

  • Two-thirds of 19- to 25-year olds in Nebraska reported drinking alcohol within the last month.

  • Two out of every five reported binge drinking (five or more drinks for men, four or more drinks for women within a couple of hours).

  • Young adults living in urban areas of the state reported the highest percentage for alcohol use.

  • Young adults 19 to 22 years old enrolled in school full time were more likely than their non-full-time peers to consume alcohol and binge drink.

  • Young adults 21 to 25 years old were about twice as likely as 19- to 20-year olds to drink and binge drink.

  • Females and males were equally likely to drink and binge drink.

  • Most young adults consumed alcohol at their home or another person’s home.

  • Three in five young adults reported that they usually drank beer. Beer was followed by liquor, wine and then flavored-malt beverages.

  • Approximately 30 percent 19 to 25 year olds said they drove a car under the influence of alcohol over the past year.

  • “This report reinforces that alcohol misuse continues to be a widespread public health problem in Nebraska,” said Dr. Joann Schaefer, the state’s Chief Medical Officer and Director of Public Health for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. “A comprehensive prevention approach along with a diverse set of partners is key to help change behavior.”

    Many communities across Nebraska are addressing binge drinking among young adults through the Nebraska Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant. Communities use these funds for responsible beverage server training, random sobriety check points, compliance checks, media campaigns, and alcohol-free entertainment options.