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Had 1+ drinks in past year

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Sample adults 18 and older were asked if they had had at least one drink (beer, wine, or liquor) during the past year.


Researchers should use caution in comparing this variable over time. Changes in the universe reduce comparability for 1991 with earlier years. Prior to 1991, only sample adults who had at least 12 drinks in any given year were asked about having 1 drink the past year. Because the sample for 1985 and 1990 is a more select group of respondents, this may explain why there are more adults answering affirmatively in these years.

In addition, respondents in 1991 were given an introduction to this question ("These next questions are about drinking alcohol beverages. Included are liquor, such as whiskey or gin, beer, wine, and any other type of alcoholic beverage") that they were not given in 1990 or 1985.


  • 1985; 1990: Sample persons age 18+ who had at least 12 drinks of any alcohol in their lifetime, and had at least 12 drinks of any alcohol in any one year.
  • 1991: Sample adults age 18+.


  • 1985, 1990-1991