Health >> Health Archives >> Teens: Grade, Race/Ethnicity, Gender

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39% of King County 12th graders reported using alcohol in the past 30 days.

Excessive alcohol use is associated with many chronic health problems, including liver disease, inflammation of the pancreas, high blood pressure, stroke, and various cancers. It is also a factor in many injuries and acts of violence, and can harm a developing fetus.

In a survey of Washington public school students, teens were asked about their use of alcohol in the past 30 days (current alcohol use) and about binge drinking (5 or more drinks on at least 1 occasion during the past 2 weeks).

  • The rate of alcohol use among teens increased dramatically with age:
    • 11% of 8th graders
    • 25% of 10th graders
    • 39% of 12th graders
  • Alcohol use varied by race/ethnicity:
    • Although alcohol use was lower among Asians than in teens of other races/ethnicities, 1 in 6 Asian teens reported using alcohol in the past 30 days.
    • Black teens had lower rates of alcohol use than Hispanic or American Indian/Alaska Native teens.
  • Males and females were equally likely to have used alcohol in the past 30 days.
  • Alcohol use among youth did not differ by region.