Liquor control board reports on underage drinking trends

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is highlighting reductions in binge drinking but a troubling trend of alcohol use by very young children.

The board Wednesday released a biennial report required by lawmakers on trends in underage and high-risk drinking and prevention strategies.

Officials said Pennsylvania is below the national average for reported binge drinking by eighth and 10th grade students, and there was a reduction in such drinking among 10th and 12 graders from 2013 to 2015.

But they say it’s troubling the number of children eight, nine and 10 years old who are trying alcohol and even drinking on a somewhat regular basis.

The department cites efforts such as an annual poster contest, college resident assistant training and more than $1 million in grants aimed at deterring alcohol use.

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