Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Teen alcohol and illicit drug use and abuse starts earlier than you might think

Date:
April 2, 2012
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
A survey of a nationally representative sample of US teenagers suggests that most cases of alcohol and drug abuse have their initial onset at this important period of development. The median age at onset was 14 years old for regular alcohol use or abuse with or without dependence; 14 years old for drug abuse with dependence; and 15 years old for drug abuse without dependence.

A survey of a nationally representative sample of U.S. teenagers suggests that most cases of alcohol and drug abuse have their initial onset at this important period of development, according to a report published in the April issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, a JAMA Network publication.

Alcohol and drugs use patterns in adolescence are increasingly seen as indicators of later substance abuse, the authors write in their study background.

Joel Swendsen, Ph.D., of the University of Bordeaux, France, and colleagues examined the prevalence, age at onset and sociodemographic factors related to alcohol and illicit drug use and abuse by U.S. adolescents. Their cross-sectional survey included a nationally representative sample of 10,123 adolescents ages 13 to 18 years.

Their study results indicate that by late adolescence, 78.2 percent of teenagers reported having consumed alcohol; 47.1 percent having reached regular drinking levels of at least 12 drinks within a year; and 15.1 percent having met the criteria for lifetime abuse. The opportunity to use illicit drugs was reported by 81.4 percent of the oldest adolescents, drug use by 42.5 percent and drug abuse by 16.4 percent.

"Because the early onset of substance use is a significant predictor of substance use behavior and disorders in a lifespan, the public health implications of the current findings are far reaching," the authors note.

The median age at onset was 14 years old for regular alcohol use or abuse with or without dependence; 14 years old for drug abuse with dependence; and 15 years old for drug abuse without dependence.

The probability of each stage of alcohol and drug use increased with age, but the rates were almost always lowest for black and other racial/ethnic groups compared with white or Hispanic adolescents.

The researchers also note that using the term "lifetime" to describe the prevalence of substance use disorders in teenagers does not necessarily indicate the persistence of these disorders in the long term because adolescents may "mature out" of harmful substance use as they become adults.

"The prevention of both alcohol and illicit drug abuse requires strategies that target early adolescence and take into account the highly differential influence that population-based factors may exert by stage of substance use," the authors conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. Swendsen, M. Burstein, B. Case, K. P. Conway, L. Dierker, J. He, K. R. Merikangas. Use and Abuse of Alcohol and Illicit Drugs in US Adolescents: Results of the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent Supplement. Archives of General Psychiatry, 2012; 69 (4): 390 DOI: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.1503

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Teen alcohol and illicit drug use and abuse starts earlier than you might think." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120402162601.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2012, April 2). Teen alcohol and illicit drug use and abuse starts earlier than you might think. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120402162601.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Teen alcohol and illicit drug use and abuse starts earlier than you might think." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120402162601.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Researchers found an improvement in memory and learning function in subjects who received electric pulses to their brains. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins