Change Indicator

Students who were binge drinking in the past 30 days in New Hampshire

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Why This Indicator Matters

Alcohol is the most common substance used by young people, more common than marijuana and
vaping or nicotine products. Drinking alcohol during adolescence can cause serious changes to the
brain during its maturation and development. According to Lindsay M. Squeglia, Professor and
Researcher at the Medical University of South Carolina, when adolescents engage in heavy alcohol
use, normal brain development is disrupted, and deviations in development occur – changes to brain
development can include:
“Poorer inhibition and decision making, atypical maturation of both gray and white
matter, and a greater brain activation during cognitive tasks, despite equal
performance (suggesting that brains of youth who are drinking have to ‘work harder’
to keep up).”1

Additionally, adolescents who consume alcohol are more likely to experience physical and sexual
violence, and alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes, and are at an increased risk of suicide and
homicide. Youth who drink alcohol are more likely to misuse other substances as well. Generally, the
risk of these problems is greater for youth who binge drink.2

An average of 14.4 percent of New Hampshire students reported binge drinking behavior within the
previous 30 days, slightly higher than the national average of 13.7 percent. Carroll County reported
the highest average at 19.4 percent, with the lowest being Greater Manchester at 12 percent.

1 Squeglia LM. Alcohol and the developing adolescent brain. World Psychiatry. 2020;19(3):393-394.
2 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder Fact Sheet,

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Definition and Source



This indicator reports the number and percentage of students in grades 9 through 12 at New Hampshire high schools participating in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) who said they four or more drinks of alcohol in a row for female students or five or more drinks of alcohol in a row for male students within a couple of hours, on at least 1 day during the 30 days before the survey. This data is displayed by Regional Public Health Network.

Data Source

Public Health Network Data source: New Hampshire DHHS, Population Health, Health Statistics & Informatics

State level data source: Central for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH), Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, Youth Online


Updated February 2023.
N.A. – Data not available.

Last Updated

February 2023