Saturday, October 11, 2008

Earlier the onset of alchol use the more likely there will be later life alcohol problems.

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Reuters reported on 09/29/08 on a study report which will appear in the December, 2008 issue of the journal, Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental research which found that the earlier a person starts drinking in life the more likely the person will develop a problem with alcohol.

This correlation has been known for some time, but is has been unclear whether this finding is due to an underlying biological predisposition or it is related to life choices. It appears it may be related more to life choices. Here is a snippet from the Reuters article:

People who try alcohol for the first time before age 15 are more likely to become dependent on it, new research shows.

These individuals also run a higher risk of abusing alcohol, report Dr. Deborah A. Dawson and colleagues at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

These problems didn't appear to be rooted in a person's inability to control their drinking, Dawson and her team found, but seemed instead to be due to "willful misuse of alcohol." This suggests, they say, that early drinkers might have "impaired executive cognitive function," or difficulty with tasks requiring them to plan, make decisions, and resist temptation.

There is already evidence that an early start on drinking boosts a person's risk of later problems with alcohol, but research to date has been unable to pin down whether such people simply have an underlying risk of addictive behavior that accounts for both trying alcohol early and developing alcohol problems, the researchers explain in the medical journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

You can access the full Reuters article by clicking here.

At GCASA our Prevention department has many programs targeted to decrease underage drinking such Project Alert delivered in the schools, Safe Homes, SUPA, Support 21, ACOA groups, Compliance checks, Tip Line, etc. Underage drinking has decreased somewhat in Genesee and Orleans counties in the last few years because of these prevention efforts.

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