A US government agency said regarding substance abuse that more than half of Americans aged 12 and above have had alcohol. A quarter of that number binge-drank in the past month. Plus, one in 14 teens has used marijuana.
Around 52 percent of 137,436 Americans interviewed in 2008 and 2009 said they had a tipple in the past month, the report released late last month by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) says.
Drinking was most prevalent among 18-25 year olds, with the northeastern state of New Hampshire leading the charge: three-quarters of young adults in the state said they'd used alcohol in the past month, the report says.
The legal drinking age in all 50 states is 21, although exceptions in many states allow under-age drinking in certain circumstances, such as in private premises with parental consent.
SAMHSA also found that almost a quarter (23.5 percent) of Americans binge-drank in the past month -- defined as having four or more drinks for women or girls and five or more for men or boys.
In North Dakota, nearly one in three residents binge-drank, the highest rate in the United States.
The number of Americans who used marijuana in the past month was also up for the period covered by the report: 6.4 percent of Americans aged 12 and older said they had used marijuana in the past month compared to six percent in 2007-2008, the report says.
In the 12 to 17 year age group, marijuana use fell, but seven percent of US teens still use cannabis, the report said.
The 10 states that saw the highest use of marijuana were Alaska, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Medical marijuana is legal in all of those states except for Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
The report is based on the 2008 and 2009 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUHs).