Early Drinking May Contribute to Alcohol Addiction and Abuse

 In Blog

An interesting post on Adelaidenow.com suggests that the age at which individuals first become drunk may contribute to the development of alcohol addiction later in life.

According to researchers in Europe, the age at which drinkers have their first tipple is not as relevant as the age at which they first become drunk in becoming an alcoholic later on.

Read what the post had to say below:

The research may go some way to reassuring parents concerned because their kids have had their first taste of alcohol this Christmas.

Many studies had reported that the younger a person when they first drink the higher the chances that person will develop drinking-related problems. But the studies had failed to show why young people drinking small amounts would lead to  later problems.

The new study looks at the link between early-age drinking and problem behaviours such as smoking, marijuana use, injuries, fights and low academic performance among tens of thousands of 15-year-olds.

It concluded that early drunkenness rather than early-age drinking was a risk factor. The results are due to be published in the March 2013 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Emmanuel Kuntsche, a senior scientist at Addiction Switzerland, said the misunderstanding arose because early drinking had previously been defined in terms of toxicity exposure.

“However, this thinking neglects two principal issues when it comes to alcohol use: one, consumption of small amounts of alcohol such as a  sip are not toxic, and two, the majority of the population is not constantly exposed to toxic amounts of alcohol,” Dr Kuntsche said.

Adolescents, in particular, had large variations in drinking from day to day – and long periods of abstinence.

Dr Kuntsche and his colleagues analysed data dating back to 1983 from 44,801 15-year-old girls and boys who had drunk alcohol from 38 North American and European countries.

Read more: http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/lifestyle/health-fitness/not-when-you-drink-its-when-you-first-get-drunk-that-may-lead-to-alcohol-related-problems-study-shows/story-fneuz9ev-1226543366990#ixzz2GeDTR1EV

According to the researchers early drunkenness was a risk factor not just early drinking. A direct correlation between early drunkenness and problem drinking was established. This research is particularly useful because parents can now avoid the behaviours that contributes to problems later on, that is becoming drunk. Researchers can now also focus on what causes early drunkenness rather than what causes people to drink in the first place in order to tackle adolescent alcohol abuse.

Negative life events, behavioural problems and parents’ alcoholism were possible underlying problems identified by researchers.

In teens whose bodies are still developing and do not have any alcohol tolerance the problem of alcohol poisoning is particularly rife and potentially deadly. It is caused by alcohol slowing down the body’s functions such as breathing, heart rate, and gag reflex, thereby potentially leading to choking, coma, stopped breathing, stopped heart, and death.

Waitors, bartenders, liquor store attendants etc. should ensure that they are not contributing to any of these teenage problems by asking everyone who looks under 23 for their proof of age and denying service to any underage.


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