Health >> Health Archives >> Teens: Trends by Grade

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Although alcohol use and binge drinking decreased among King County 8th graders, both remain high among 12th graders.

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).

  • Both binge drinking and current alcohol use among King County teens increased with age. Rates for both were close to 4 times greater among 12th graders than 8th graders.
  • Although binge drinking among 8th graders decreased between 2004 and 2010, it did not change for either 10th or 12th graders.
  • Between 2004 and 2010, current alcohol use declined among 8th and 10th graders, but did not change among 12th graders.
  • Overall, 2010 King County rates of teen binge drinking and alcohol use were similar to rates statewide.
    • Binge drinking among WA State teens:  8% of 8th graders; 16% of 10th graders; and 25% of 12th graders.
    •  Current alcohol use among WA teens:   14% of 8th graders; 28% of 10th graders; and 40% of 12th graders.
  • National data are not reported by grade and therefore are not presented here.