Newsroom > DHHS News Release

December 20, 2010

Leah Bucco-White, Communications and Legislative Services, 402-471-9356

Are Nebraska’s Young Adults Drinking Too Much?

DHHS Alcohol Survey Results Are In

Note: A sound bite on this topic will be available shortly at:

Lincoln – Alcohol is the most commonly used substance in the state. Nebraska’s rates of underage drinking, binge drinking and alcohol-impaired driving continue to be higher than the rest of the nation. While alcohol misuse is a cause for concern among people of all ages, it’s particularly concerning for young adults who tend to be the most likely age group to misuse alcohol and suffer the consequences.

According to the Nebraska Young Adult Alcohol Opinion Survey, here’s what randomly sampled 19-25 year olds said about:

Alcohol use

  • Two-thirds of 19-25 year olds in Nebraska reported drinking alcohol within the last month.
  • Two out of every five reported binge drinking (5 or more drinks for men/4 or more drinks for women within a couple of hours).
  • Young adults living in urban areas of the state reported the highest percentage for alcohol use.
  • Young adults 19-22 enrolled in school full time were more likely than their non-full-time peers to consume alcohol and binge drink.
  • 21-25 year olds were about twice as likely as 19-20 year olds to drink and binge drink.
  • Females and males were equally likely to drink and binge drink.
  • Most young adults consumed alcohol at their home or another person’s home.
  • Three in five young adults reported that they usually drank beer. Beer was followed by liquor, wine and then flavored-malt beverages.

Alcohol-impaired driving

  • About three in every 10 19-25 year olds said they drove a car under the influence of alcohol over the past year.

“This report reinforces that alcohol misuse continues to be a widespread public health problem in Nebraska,” said Dr. Joann Schaefer, the state’s Chief Medical Officer and Director of Public Health for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. “A comprehensive prevention approach along with a diverse set of partners is key to help change behavior.”

Many communities across Nebraska are addressing binge drinking among young adults through the Nebraska Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant. Communities use these funds for responsible beverage server training, random sobriety check points, compliance checks, media campaigns, and alcohol-free entertainment options.

DHHS partnered with the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety and the University of Nebraska – Lincoln on this project. To see more results from the report, go to

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