According to a report by the City Health Department, one in four New Yorkers ages 12-to-20 told surveyors that they drank alcohol in the past month -- and they were more likely than adults to report binge drinking.
Fifty-two percent of underage drinkers said they’ve participated in binge drinking, defined as five or more drinks in a single sitting. That's 10 percentage points more than adults.
From 2003 through 2009, the number of adolescents who showed up in emergency rooms with alcohol-related problems quadrupled from 1,000 to 4,000.
During the same period, adults ages 21-to-64 tripled their appearances in emergency rooms from 22,000 to 74,000.
The City Health Department's report also showed alcohol was directly responsible for about 600 deaths in 2008. Although it is not so many in a city of 8 million people, alcohol played a disproportionate role in many other kinds of deaths, including homicide, motor vehicle accident and unintentional injury and poisoning.