HARRISBURG, PA — The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) released its biennial Report on Underage and High-Risk Drinking, which details current trends and rates of consumption for underage and college students and outlines statewide education and prevention initiatives to address alcohol-related issues.
The report, required by Act 85 of 2006, was produced by the PLCB in cooperation with multiple state agencies and partners in alcohol education and is presented to the General Assembly to increase awareness of alcohol issues of public health concern.
“This report gives a glimpse of how COVID-19 affected patterns of alcohol use by young people across the commonwealth. We see both emerging and ongoing trends that need to be addressed by various groups, including public health agencies, educators, and parents and guardians,” said PLCB Chairman Tim Holden.
According to data from the report:
- Rates of alcohol consumption among college students increased as a result of campus closures and the transition to remote learning caused by COVID-19.
- One-third of young people age 20 and under reported binge drinking at least once in the past month.
- Kids that begin drinking by age 13 are four times more likely to become alcohol-dependent later in life.
The 2021 PLCB report on underage and high-risk drinking:
- References results from the most recent Pennsylvania Youth Survey, which focuses on students in grades six, eight, 10, and 12 and outlines their knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors toward alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
- Highlights the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on alcohol consumption among college students.
- Details alcohol-related crash statistics and fatalities for Pennsylvania.
- Provides information on Know When. Know How.Opens In A New Window SM, the PLCB’s statewide alcohol awareness campaign designed to prompt parents to spark early conversations about the dangers of alcohol with their kids.
The PLCB works to reduce underage and dangerous drinking through a variety of efforts. The agency conducts close to one million age verification checks annually at Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores, offers training and certification for licensees and their employees through the Responsible Alcohol Management Program (RAMP), awards dozens of grants annually to partners in prevention, hosts a free educational conference on alcohol-related issues, offers an award-winning training for resident assistants on college campuses, and collaborates with communities and organizations throughout the commonwealth dedicated to the prevention of alcohol abuse.
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