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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Age At First Drink and Early Intoxication Study Provides Useful Information

Do you remember your first alcoholic drink? Many people do; particularly if one became intoxicated during the same incident. Some parents offer their young teens a sip of beer or a small glass of holiday cheer to go along with a holiday feast. It is probably a good guess that unless something dramatic followed that first drink, like becoming lightheaded or totally intoxicated, most children or teenagers will not remember the time or place of the occasion. Does the age at first drink (AFD) and early intoxication put teenagers at risk?

A new study will be published in the November 2012 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research that compares the influence of potential risk factors of AFD and early intoxication on later general health problems and addiction in particularly.

Meghan Rabbitt Morean, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine was a corresponding author for this study. Morean and the research team assessed 1,160 college freshman. The first assessment was completed during the summer season between graduating from high school and entering college. Going forward each participant provided data on a semi-annual schedule with the final assessment being completed in the fall of their fourth year of college. 766 females and 394 males participated throughout the four year period. The participants were responsible for self-reporting their age of first drink and their age of first intoxication.

Medical Xpress quotes Ms. Morean:
"As expected, beginning to use alcohol at an earlier age was associated with heavier drinking and the experience of more negative consequences during senior year of college," said Morean. "Quickly progressing from first alcohol use to drinking to intoxication was also an important predictor of heavy drinking and the experience of alcohol related problems during senior year of college. For example, an adolescent who consumed his first drink at age 15 was at greater risk for heavy drinking and problems than an adolescent who took his first drink at age 17. Further, an adolescent who took his first drink at age 15 and also drank to intoxication at age 15 was at greater risk for heavy drinking and problems than an adolescent who had his first drink at age 15 and did not drink to the point of intoxication until he was 17."

Hopefully our readers will review the full report and the related articles below. Parenting involves commitment and any learning on how to deal with children and teenagers as they move through the process of maturation includes understanding the implications of offering the first drink and passively condoning underage drinking. The results of the first drink can lead to a lifetime of suffering and complications related to the disease of addiction.


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