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2002 State Estimates of Substance Use

3. Alcohol Use

A number of measures of alcohol use are available from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). This chapter discusses past month alcohol use, past month binge alcohol use, and the perceived risk of binge alcohol use. Binge alcohol use is defined as drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion on a least 1 day in the 30 days prior to the survey. Alcohol is the most commonly used substance in the United States. Nationally in 2002, about half of Americans aged 12 or older reported having had a drink in the past month (51 percent), and more than a fifth (22.9 percent) participated in binge drinking in the past 30 days (Tables A.7 and A.8). Moreover, among youths aged 12 to 17, 17.6 percent reported using alcohol in the past month, and 10.7 percent reported past month binge alcohol use.

 

3.1. Alcohol

The States in the top fifth for past month use of alcohol among persons aged 12 or older (i.e., highest rates) were primarily in the Northern parts of the United States, including six States in the Northeast, one in the Midwest, and one in the West. The other two were in the South (Maryland and the District of Columbia). All of the States in the lowest fifth were in the South, except for Utah (West region). Utah had the lowest rate (33.0 percent) of past month alcohol use in the Nation (Table A.7). New Jersey had the highest rate for the 12 or older age group (61.1 percent) and among those aged 26 or older (66.3 percent). The highest rate of past month use of alcohol for the 18 to 25 age group was in Rhode Island (75 percent), and North Dakota had the highest rate among youths (24.7 percent). Only the State of Massachusetts ranked in the top fifth for all three age groups (12 to 17, 18 to 25, and 26 or older) and for all persons aged 12 or older (Table A.7, Figures 3.1 to 3.4).

 

3.2. Binge Alcohol

Most of the States in the top fifth for past month binge use of alcohol for persons aged 12 or older were in the Northern parts of the United States; four of them were the same as those for past month use of alcohol: Colorado, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, and Minnesota (Table A.8, Figures 3.1 and 3.5 to 3.8). Three States were in the top fifth for all three age groups (12 to 17, 18 to 25, and 26 or older): North Dakota, Rhode Island, and South Dakota. Among all persons aged 12 or older, Utah had the lowest rate of binge alcohol use (16.6 percent) in the Nation. The highest rates of binge alcohol use were in the 18 to 25 age group, 40.9 percent for the Nation. North Dakota had the highest rate among those aged 18 to 25 (55.8 percent), among youths aged 12 to 17 (16.4 percent), and among all persons aged 12 or older (30.0 percent).

 

3.3. Perceptions of Risk of Binge Alcohol Use

People's perceptions of the risk of binge drinking were moderately related to their actual rates of binge drinking at the State level in 2002. Six of the States with the highest rates of binge use of alcohol in 2002 also were States with the lowest perceived risk of binge drinking for the population aged 12 or older (Figures 3.5 and 3.9 to 3.12). Five out of ten States with the lowest perceived risk were common to all three age groups (12 to 17, 18 to 25, and 26 or older) and for persons aged 12 or older: Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. The States in the highest fifth of rates of perceived risk (aged 12 or older) were either from the South (seven States) or the West (three States).

 

Figure 3.1 Percentages Reporting Past Month Use of Alcohol among Persons Aged 12 or Older, by State: 2002

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Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002.

 

Figure 3.2 Percentages Reporting Past Month Use of Alcohol among Youths Aged 12 to 17, by State: 2002

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Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002.

 

Figure 3.3 Percentages Reporting Past Month Use of Alcohol among Persons Aged 18 to 25, by State: 2002

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Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002.

 

Figure 3.4 Percentages Reporting Past Month Use of Alcohol among Persons Aged 26 or Older, by State: 2002

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Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002.

 

Figure 3.5 Percentages Reporting Past Month Binge Alcohol Use among Persons Aged 12 or Older, by State: 2002

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Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002.

 

Figure 3.6 Percentages Reporting Past Month Binge Alcohol Use among Youths Aged 12 to 17, by State: 2002

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Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002.

 

Figure 3.7 Percentages Reporting Past Month Binge Alcohol Use among Persons Aged 18 to 25, by State: 2002

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Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002.

 

Figure 3.8 Percentages Reporting Past Month Binge Alcohol Use among Persons Aged 26 or Older, by State: 2002

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Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002.

 

Figure 3.9 Percentages Reporting Perceptions of Great Risk of Having Five or More Drinks of an Alcoholic Beverage Once or Twice a Week among Persons Aged 12 or Older, by State: 2002

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Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002.

 

Figure 3.10 Percentages Reporting Perceptions of Great Risk of Having Five or More Drinks of an Alcoholic Beverage Once or Twice a Week among Youths Aged 12 to 17, by State: 2002

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Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002.

 

Figure 3.11 Percentages Reporting Perceptions of Great Risk of Having Five or More Drinks of an Alcoholic Beverage Once or Twice a Week among Persons Aged 18 to 25, by State: 2002

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Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002.

 

Figure 3.12 Percentages Reporting Perceptions of Great Risk of Having Five or More Drinks of an Alcoholic Beverage Once or Twice a Week among Persons Aged 26 or Older, by State: 2002

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Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002.

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This page was last updated on June 03, 2008.