Underage Drinking

Underage drinking has become an epidemic in Montana. Approximately 47,000 underage youth in Montana drink each year.

 In 2007, the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, produced a number of terrifying statistics regarding underage drinking in Montana. Just to name a few:
  • 701 youth 12-20 years old were admitted for alcohol treatment in Montana, accounting for 13% of all treatment admissions for alcohol abuse in the whole State.
  • 78% of our Montana youth, grades 9 – 12, admitted to drinking alcohol.
  • 47%, grades 9 – 12, have had one or more drinks in the last 30 days.
  • During 2007, an estimated 15 traffic fatalities and 700 nonfatal traffic injuries involved an underage drinker.
  • In 2006, an estimated 2 homicides;  2,600 nonfatal violent crimes such as rape, robbery and assault; and 5,400 property crimes including burglary, larceny, and car theft involved an underage drinking perpetrator.

The full report produced by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, can be downloaded here, Underage Drinking in Montana.

Prevent Underage Drinking

Underage drinking in MontanaIn 2012 another study was done by the state agency’s Prevention Resource Center and the Center for Health and Safety Culture at Montana State University. The study took a closer look at how parents impact their children’s life choices. They discovered that parents are indeed the number 1 influence over a child regarding whether or not they’re going to engage in risky behavior, such as underage drinking.

The Director for the Prevention Resource Center, Vicki Turner said, “If we want to change the culture in our state regarding underage drinking … we need to figure out a way to work with parents.”

Click here for more information regarding this study, Prevention of Underage Drinking.

Learn More

Additional resources include, Alcohol Taxes and Prices, which explores the link between underage drinking, alcohol taxes, and beverage prices in Montana. As well as Adult-Supervised Drinking Consequences, which compares two approaches, “Zero Tolerance”, and “a slow introduction of alcohol in a controlled environment”.

Other resources include: