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Health Indicator Report of Binge Drinking Among High School Students (Grades 9-12)

Excessive alcohol consumption is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States and is a risk factor for many health and societal problems. Among adults, it can take the form of heavy drinking, binge drinking, or both. Underage drinking can also be considered a form of excessive drinking because it is both illegal and often involves consumption in quantities and settings that can lead to serious immediate and long-term consequences. People aged 12 to 20 years drink 11% of all alcohol consumed in the United States. More than 90% of this alcohol is consumed in the form of binge drinks.


Public School Students, Grades 9-12, New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey (YRRS)

Data Sources

  • New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey, New Mexico Department of Health and Public Education Department.
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data

Data Interpretation Issues

Data are self-reported by students in a classroom setting, and are subject to recall bias and self-reporting bias common to other similar population based surveys.


Percentage of students who had five or more drinks of alcohol on at least one single occasion in the past 30 days.


Number of respondents who answered "1 day" or more to the question, "During the past 30 days, on how many days did you have 5 or more drinks of alcohol in a row, that is, within a couple of hours?"


Number of respondents who answered the question, "During the past 30 days, on how many days did you have 5 or more drinks of alcohol in a row, that is, within a couple of hours?"

Healthy People Objective: SA-14.4, Reduce the proportion of persons engaging in binge drinking during the past month--Adolescents aged 12 to 17 years

U.S. Target: 8.5 percent

Other Objectives

Substance Abuse Epidemiology Report Indicator

How Are We Doing?

New Mexico girls reported binge drinking at about the same percentages as boys. The percentage of youth who reported binge drinking has been declining, with a somewhat steeper rate of decline among boys, compared to girls. The rate of youth binge drinking was higher than the NM overall rate in Luna County. Several counties fared statistically better than the state, overall, including Catron, Colfax, Harding, Los Alamos, Sierra, Torrance and Union Counties. White students were less likely to binge drink, while Hispanic students were statistically more likely to report binge drinking.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

Youth in New Mexico binge drink at roughly the same rate as youth elsewhere across the U.S. Although NM youth binge drinking rates were higher in recent years (2003, 2005), they have trended back to the U.S. rate since 2007. Both New Mexico and U.S. rates are far above the Healthy People 2010 objective of 2%.

Evidence-based Practices

Recommendations of Task Force on Community Preventive Services include limiting the sale of alcohol through limited days and hours of sales, increased taxes, legal liability of owner or server of a retail alcohol establishment where a customer recently consumed alcoholic beverages, and enhanced enforcement of laws prohibiting sales to minors. For more information on evidence-based practices, please see

Available Services

Doctors, nurses and other health professionals should screen all adult patients and counsel those who drink too much to drink less. This is called alcohol screening and brief intervention (A-SBI). A-SBI can reduce how much alcohol a person drinks on an occasion by 25%. A-SBI is recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), the Community Preventive Services Task Force (Community Guide), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the World Health Organization (WHO). For more information on A-SBI, please the CDC vital signs website:
Page Content Updated On 09/13/2017, Published on 05/30/2018
The information provided above is from the New Mexico Department of Health's NM-IBIS web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Sun, 28 November 2021 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Wed, 30 May 2018 17:02:27 MDT