A study done by Yale University has found that the younger people are when they have their first drink; the more likely they are to drink heavily as adults. 1,160 students were examined who had moved from high school to college over a four-year period. They filled out questionnaires about when they first started drinking, how often they drank heavily and any alcohol-related problems they had.
The study concluded that the earlier a teenage tried alcohol, the more likely they would struggle to control how much they drank while in college. It was also found that 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.
Research also shows that people who had their first drink at age 15 are at a greater risk of alcohol problems than people who waited until they were 17. Because most American kids have their first drink between the ages of 14 and 15 years old, this could pose a big problem.
Drinking May Start At Home
The minimum age for buying alcohol in the UK is 18, although a child can drink at home with a guardian’s permission between the ages of 5 and 17. The minimum age for buying alcohol in the U.S. is 21. Whether a child can drink at home under this age varies from state to state.
Many parents allow their kids to drink at home and even by them alcohol with the belief that this is a safe way to promote responsible drinking. For some, this may be the case, but for others it may not. If this is happening it could explain why someone so young could have a drinking problem that is so severe or advanced. Unfortunately some parents do not understand the damage they can do to their kids by allowing, or not stopping early alcohol usage.
Drinking Leading To Bad Behavior In Young Girls
One example of this is that more and more girls have been getting involved in serious offences of violence, in which alcohol plays a major role. Alcohol use can reduce self-control and the ability to process information and impulses, which may make some drinkers more likely to resort to violence during confrontation. Because alcohol is viewed as a recreational drug, the effects of its consumption can be underestimated.
The connection between alcohol and violence is very clear. According to a news story, three years ago a schoolgirl named Ruby Thomas killed Ian Baynham, who happened to be gay. It was found that this attack had been fueled by alcohol. She was jailed for seven years of manslaughter just last year. The judge who sentenced her asserted that it had been a case of “mindless drink-fueled violence”.
This situation is one of many violent outbursts and problems which are caused by drinking.
Know The Warning Signs
If you are worried that a friend or family member may be abusing alcohol, the sooner you help them the sooner they can begin the road to recovery. There are many signs of alcohol abuse, physical and emotional, that you can look for:
• Slurred speech
• Frequent headaches
• Sleep problems
• Red/bloodshot eyes
• Unexplained injuries
• Lack of concentration
• Withdrawal from family
• Mood swings
• Problems with the law
• Secretive behavior
Narconon Hawaii as well as other facilities including our center in Michigan suggests that if you see these signs or others, you take immediate action to get the alcohol abuser help.