Alcoholism: Starting Young
A recent study published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine has uncovered some shocking data about children and alcoholism. For each year earlier than age 21 individuals started drinking, the greater the risk that they would eventually become alcoholics, researchers at the Boston University School of Public Health reported.
The study focused upon interviews with 43,000 adults aged 18 and over and found that those who started drinking before age 14 were 78% more likely to become alcohol dependent. People in this category were also more likely to experience episodes of alcoholism lasting a year or longer, more likely to exhibit more dependence symptoms, and more likely to develop dependence within 10 years of starting to drink. These associations even transcended boundaries of age, sex, race, ethnicity, educational attainment, marital status, smoking, drug use, and history of antisocial behavior.