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All Vermonters are healthy and safe and 8 more... less...

All Vermonters are Healthy and Safe

Prevent and eliminate the problems caused by alcohol and drug misuse in youth

HV2020 Outcomes - ADAP

Programmatic Performance Measures for Budgeting - ADAP (formerly Vantage)

Act 186 - ADAP

AHS Strategic Plan - ADAP

Integrated Family Services - VDH

Vermonters are healthy

Percent of adolescents age 12-17 binge drinking in the past 30 days

Current Value




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Story Behind the Curve

Last Updated: April 2014

Author: State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup, Vermont Department of Health

Binge drinking is defined by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health as having 4 (females) or 5 (males) drinks in one sitting. NSDUH reports state-level data across 2-year time frames due to sample size considerations. Over the past 10 years, Vermont prevalence for binge drinking in the past 30 days among adolescents ages 12-17 has dropped from 15% (2002-3) to 10% (2011-12). Even with this decrease, Vermont’s prevalence is among the ten highest for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The decrease from 2002 – 2012 reflects an overall decrease in alcohol consumption in general and binge drinking in particular among this age group across the country. This is good news, but more must be done to promote healthy behavior and limit access to alcohol for this age group. One of Vermont’s prevention priorities is addressing underage drinking. This was one of the targets of the Strategic Prevention Framework – State Incentive Grant (SPF-SIG). The efforts associated with that project are likely at least partially responsible for the decrease observed in more recent years (i.e., since 2007).

Why Is This Important?

This indicator is part of Healthy Vermonters 2020 (the State Health Assessment) that documents the health status of Vermonters at the start of the decade and the population health indicators and goals that will guide the work of public health through 2020. Click here for more information.

This indicator is also part of the State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP), a five-year plan that prioritizes broad Healthy Vermonters 2020 goals: reducing prevalence of chronic disease, reducing prevalence of substance abuse and mental illness, and improving childhood immunizations. The SHIP is a subset of HV2020 and details strategies and planned interventions. Click here for more information.

The Agency of Human Services (AHS) operates in support of the Governor’s overall agenda for the state and his seven statewide priorities. Additionally, AHS’ mission and the work of its six Departments are targeted to achieve results in four strategic areas: the reduction of the lasting impacts of poverty; promotion of the health, well being and safety of communities; enhancement of program effectiveness and accountability; reform of the health system. Click here for more information.


  • Community Coalitions
  • Middle and High Schools
  • Parents
  • Law Enforcement
  • Regional Substance Abuse Prevention Consultants, Office of Local Health, Vermont Department of Health

What Works

A comprehensive approach using multiple evidence-based programs, practices, and policies such as those listed in the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) or recommended by The Community Guide. These include programs serving youth and families, as well as community-wide strategies such as media advocacy and community education.


As federal and state funding levels permit, the Vermont Department of Health plans to continue supporting prevention of underage drinking through grants to community organizations and schools. In addition, support of policies and enforcement practices that limit access to alcohol for underage Vermonters (e.g., minimum legal drinking age of 21, zero tolerance law for drivers under the age of 21, the Vermont Department of Liquor Control compliance check program, etc.).

As a follow-up to the SPF-SIG mentioned above, the Partnerships for Success II initiative is under way. It also targets underage drinking and underage binge drinking. Evaluation results for this grant will not be available until at least 2016, but by directly supporting evidenced-based programs, practices, and policies, the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs at the Vermont Department of Health expects to further reduce rates of both underage drinking and underage binge drinking.

Ongoing programs and grants include:

  • Community Grants
  • Partnerships for Success II Grants
  • School-Based Substance Abuse Services
  • ParentUp campaign

Notes on Methodology

Data is updated as it becomes available and timing may vary by data source. For more information about this indicator, click here.

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