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% of adolescents of color in grades 9-12 binge drinking in the last 30 days


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Story Behind the Curve

Updated:  Jan 2020

In 2019, 15% of high school students drank 10 or more drinks in a row within a couple of hours during the past month.  Binge drinking significantly increases with each grade level and does not differ by sex, race, or sexual orientation.  

The Vermont Department of health supports community-based environmental and individual prevention programs aimed at reduction of binge drinking, including media campaigns, evidence-based strategies and a focus on middle and high school youth.  Our school-based substance abuse services (SBSAS) grants also focus on environmental and individual prevention programs and strategies aimed at reduction of underage and binge drinking. 

The Supervisory Unions across the state that are receiving SBSAS funds are also required to deliver screening and referral services to substance abuse and mental health services, as well as activities that support the CDC’s Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) framework.   Optional activities can include supporting VDH’s statewide media campaigns (e.g. Parent UP), evidence-based curriculum, parent education programs, peer leadership programs, teacher training and educational support groups with students.

Note:  There is limited trend data available because the binge drinking measure definition was changed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to make it gender specific. Prior to 2017, binge drinking was defined as five or more drinks in one sitting for both males and females while in the 2017 Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) it is defined as five or more drinks for males and four or more drinks for females.

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