Health Officials: Alcohol use by high school freshmen drops in Minnesota


MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Fewer high school freshmen in Minnesota are drinking alcohol. That’s according to new data from the state Department of Health.

The 2016 Minnesota Student Survey found 12 percent of high school freshmen say they drink.

That’s down 8 percent from 2007 when 20 percent of ninth-graders said they drank more than a few sips of alcohol before age 13.

About 38 percent of high school freshmen who drink said they also binge drink.

“Youth drinking has consequences. It’s associated with troubles later in life and a host of bad outcomes in high school, such as mental health troubles, fights, risky sexual behavior and poor academic achievement,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm.

“It’s important that kids know that contrary to public belief a majority of high school students don’t drink alcohol.”

Minnesota has a lower youth drinking rate than the nation and surrounding states, according to health officials.



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