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Whither youthful drinking in the United States, 1980-1992?
This paper examines the epidemiologic evidence relating to the question of whether youthful alcohol consumption in the United States has been declining apace with total consumption since 1981. National per capita alcohol consumption statistics, which derive from tax data, cannot indicate changes in youthful drinking behavior. Examination of these trends requires data from both social surveys and indirect indicators of youthful drinking, which the author contends are inadequate. Consequently, currently available data are plagued with inconsistencies, and the picture of youthful drinking trends that emerges from them is unclear. Data drawn from long-term survey studies, as provided in the Monitoring the Future (MTF) and the National Household Survey of Drug Abuse (NHSDA), suggest that youthful drinking declined very substantially between 1979 and 1992. source
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