Unveiling Patterns: Understanding Underage & High-Risk Drinking in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board

PENNSYLVANIA — The Liquor Control Board (PLCB) recently released its biennial Report on Underage and High-Risk Drinking, detailing consumption trends among underage and college students. The report outlines statewide education and prevention initiatives. PLCB Chairman Tim Holden highlights the report’s significance in addressing alcohol-related challenges and offering guidance to parents, guardians, teachers, and stakeholders.

“This report always provides a fascinating look into alcohol use patterns and trends among young people across Pennsylvania. It also helps provide a road map of how parents, guardians, teachers, and other community stakeholders can begin to address challenges presented by underage and dangerous drinking,” said Holden.

According to the report:

  • Research has shown that excessive alcohol use was responsible for an estimated one in eight deaths among adults between 20 and 64 years old.
  • Approximately 4.2 million (11.1%) of 12- to 20-year-olds reported binge drinking at least once in the past month.
  • In 2022, 58% of underage buyers were carded for alcohol and still served during Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement age compliance checks at liquor licensed establishments.

The 2023 PLCB report on underage and high-risk drinking:

  • Highlights alcohol-related consumption trends.
  • References the Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS), which measures the need for prevention services among youth in grades 6, 8, 10 and 12.
  • Details the vast efforts of state agencies and their partners to reduce harmful alcohol-related occurrences and provide education throughout the Commonwealth.
  • Provides information on Know When. Know How. 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 more than 2 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.

The PLCB’s 2023 Report on Underage and High-Risk Drinking and more information about alcohol education efforts are available at lcb.pa.gov.

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