- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee officials say fewer teenagers and pre-teens in the state are binge drinking.

The state Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services says the decreases follow a five-year effort to heighten awareness about the dangers of having five or more drinks on one occasion.

The agency says that between 2009 and 2013, binge drinking rates for teens ages 14 to 17 dropped nearly 16 percent. Among those ages 18 to 25, that drop was 5 percent.

Other findings include a 25 percent drop in alcohol-related arrests among young people, a 24 percent reduction in juvenile drunken driving arrests and a 14 percent decrease in alcohol-related traffic fatalities.

Commissioner Doug Varney says “young people are especially at risk” to the dangers of alcohol abuse.

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