New Studies Point Out Early Start of Alcoholism

Two new reports issued by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration give parents all the reason they need to crack down on teen drinking as a way of preventing alcoholism.

One of these new reports, Quantity and Frequency of Alcohol Use among Underage Drinkers, states that the ten million young Americans (ages 12 to 20) who report consumption of alcohol are drinking an average of six days a month, an average of nearly five drinks apiece each day.  This compares to 2.8 alcoholic drinks per day for drinkers aged 21 or older. This report also states that underage drinkers consume more than 11 percent of all the alcoholic drinks consumed in the United States.

The other new report, Substance Abuse and Dependence Following Initiation or Alcohol or Illicit Drug Use tells us that the overwhelming majority of those who start using alcohol are still using it a year or more later.

One of the most compelling statistics related to young alcohol consumption is this one: Alcohol consumption starting in the teens results in alcoholism four times as often as alcohol consumption that starts at twenty-one years of age. Each year nearly three-quarters of a million people are admitted to treatment for alcoholism. And nearly 40 percent of those will enter treatment five or more times in an attempt to recover from their alcoholism.

“When you work with those who seek rehab for alcoholism, you see before you the destruction that alcohol consumption does to a person’s life when it becomes habitual or addictive,” stated Ryan Thorpe, Director of Admissions at Narconon Arrowhead, one of the country’s leading drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, located in Canadian, Oklahoma. “Education for underage drinkers is an essential part of saving thousands of these young lives. And effective rehabilitation for alcoholism needs to be available so that our citizens can be restored to drug and alcohol free lives.”

Asking alcohol manufacturers to stop marketing to youth is asking them to lose the $22.5 billion dollars a year they make from underage drinking. Parents can be effective in protecting their children from problems with alcoholism.