Teenagers who start drinking before the age of 14 face a much higher risk of alcohol dependence during their lifetime, a new study suggests.
Researchers from Boston University, who report their findings in the July issue of the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, analysed a US survey of more than 43 000 adults aged 18 and older.
Overall, 12.5 percent of all those surveyed and 19 percent of those had had ever drank alcohol experienced alcohol dependence at some point in their lifetime. However, 47 percent of those who began drinking before the age of 14 experienced alcohol dependence later, compared to 9 percent of those who did not drink until 21. The younger drinkers also were three times more likely to experience two or more episodes of alcohol dependence in their lifetime.
"Usually, each additional year earlier than age 21 years that a respondent begins to drink, the greater the odds that he or she would develop the alcohol dependence outcomes examined," the researchers wrote. – (HealthDayNews)
Substance abuse Centre