Underage alcohol use: Findings from the 2002-2006 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health
This report presents findings from the 2002 to 2006 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUHs) on the use of alcohol by persons aged 12 to 20, that is, those who are under the minimum legal age for alcohol use. NSDUH is an annual survey of the civilian, noninstitutionalized population of the United States aged 12 or older and is conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). This report examines trends in alcohol use from 2002 to 2006 among underage persons and variations in underage drinking and alcohol use disorders across demographic groups and geographic areas. The discussion is based on measures of alcohol use in the past month, past year, and lifetime included in NSDUH, as well as questions that allow for the classification of past year dependence on or abuse of alcohol. Findings also are presented from items added to the 2006 NSDUH regarding the social context and location of underage drinking, the sources for alcohol among underage
drinkers, and the co-occurrence of underage alcohol use and illicit drug use.