Alcohol the drug of choice for binging teens

New findings by state and federal health officials found that liquor is the most consumed alcoholic beverage among high school students in Georgia, particularly among binge drinkers.

And when students do drink, most of the time they do it in another person’s home and obtain the liquor from someone else, according to the study, which examines 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Survey data from 2,465 Georgia students in grades 9 through 12. The state’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey is conducted and coordinated by Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Georgia Division of Public Health, which is part of the Georgia Department of Community Health.

Among the findings:

Of the 38 percent of students were current drinkers (they had alcohol in the last 30 days), 44 percent said they used bourbon, scotch, rum, vodka or whiskey.

Fifty-eight percent reported drinking in another person’s home

Sixty-two percent either obtained alcohol from someone who gave it to them or bought it for them.

“It’s a problem,” said Dr. John Horan, an epidemiologist for the state division of public health. “There’s a substantial proportion of high school students who report they currently drink alcohol and liquor was the type of alcohol most commonly consumed. He said there are several steps that could reduce use of alcohol by teens including enforcing laws on selling and serving alcohol to people under 21, limiting the number of places that sell alcohol and increasing the alcohol excise tax.

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