Updated: Jan 2020
According to the 2019 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BFRSS), 27% of young adults 18-24 engaged in an episode of binge drinking, defined as five or more drinks in one occasion for men and four or more for woman. Alcohol use among Vermont adults (18+) is statistically higher than the US. While we don’t have comparable national information from the BRFSS, according to the 2017/18 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) results, Vermonters aged 18-25 have amongst the highest rates of binge drinking of any US state.
In addition to the NSDUH results, the 2018 Young Adult Survey (YAS) was conducted in Vermont by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) as part of a statewide evaluation of a federally funded grant, called the Regional Prevention Partnerships (RPP). The target population for this online survey was Vermont residents aged 18 to 25. State estimates for key measures align closely with those obtained from NSDUH.
The 2018 YAS results reported the rate of prevalence of any binge drinking in the past 30-days for youth ages 18-20 was 44%, and 56% for young adults ages 21-25. While the rate of binge drinking 20 or more days in a 30-day period is at a low of 3%, the rates of those who binge drank 6-10 days in a 30-day period is 13% for people aged 18-20 and 16% for those aged 21-25. College students are more likely to binge drink in the past 30 days than young adults who do not attend college (61% vs 37%). However, the rates of binge drinking 20 or more days in the 30-days is at 1% for full-time college students and 6% for all other youth adults.
The Vermont Department of Health supports college age youth through community-based, environmental and individual prevention programs aimed at reduction of binge drinking, marijuana and substance use, early intervention and prevention through our work with the colleges across the state through the College Symposium. Participation from colleges across the state around common concerns and challenges many colleges are experiencing. Every other month, we are meeting with colleges across the state to talk about their substance use interventions and assessments to coordinate a better system of care and institute best practices for assessing substance use. In addition to our work with colleges, VDH also supports environmental and individual prevention strategies and programs through our Regional Prevention Partnerships (RPP) statewide grants, ADAP’s Prevention Consultant program and statewide media campaigns.