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Study: Underage drinking trips to ER spike in July 4 weekend

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Underage drinking-related visits to ER climb 87 percent during holiday weekend
  • In 2008, there were 502 such visits on an average July day
  • That number climbed to 928 over the three-day July 4 weekend

(CNN) -- Hospital emergency room visits related to underage drinking nearly double during the July 4 holiday weekend, according to a federal study released this month.

A report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says that daily underage drinking-related visits are 87 percent higher during the holiday weekend than on an average day in July.

The study estimates that there were 502 hospital emergency room visits involving alcohol use on an average day in July 2008.

But on the three-day July 4 weekend that year, the average number of visits climbed to 938.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say people aged 12 to 20 years drink 11 percent of all alcohol consumed in the United States. More than 90 percent of that alcohol is consumed in the form of binge drinking, according to the CDC.