Age at Drinking Onset and Alcohol Dependence: Age at Onset, Duration, and Severity

Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (Impact Factor: 5.73). 08/2006; 160(7):739-46. DOI: 10.1001/archpedi.160.7.739
Source: PubMed


To examine whether starting to drink at an early age is associated with developing alcohol dependence at a younger age and chronic relapsing dependence, controlling for respondent demographics, smoking and illicit drug use, childhood antisocial behavior and depression, and family alcoholism history.
Cross-sectional survey.
Nationwide face-to-face survey with a multistage probability sample.
A total of 43,093 adults were surveyed in 2001-2002.
Based on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, criteria, lifetime alcohol dependence, dependence within 10 years of starting drinking, multiple episodes, an alcohol dependence episode in the past year, episodes exceeding 1 year, and meeting 6 or 7 dependence criteria.
Relative to respondents who began drinking at 21 years or older, those who began drinking before age 14 years were more likely to experience alcohol dependence ever and within 10 years of first drinking (adjusted hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals [CIs], 1.78 [1.51-2.11] and 1.69 [1.38-2.07], respectively). They also more often experienced past-year dependence and multiple dependence episodes (adjusted odds ratios, 1.93 [95% CI, 1.40-2.64] and 3.09 [95% CI, 2.19-4.35], respectively). Among alcohol-dependent persons, the odds were 2.62 (95% CI, 1.79-3.84) for having at least 1 episode exceeding 1 year and 2.89 (95% CI, 1.97-4.23) for meeting 6 or 7 dependence diagnostic criteria.
There is a need to screen and counsel adolescents about alcohol use and to implement policies and programs that delay alcohol consumption.

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    • "Because they revisited their risky behavioral tendencies after a period of stability, this subgroup warrants further investigation. First, their discontinued drinking is contrary to the risk associated with early drinking onset and the typical pattern of escalation observed throughout adolescence and into college (Baer et al., 1995; Gruber et al., 1996; Hingson et al., 2006). It is possible that these individuals are more vulnerable to the college drinking context. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Previous work examining college drinking tendencies has identified a disproportionately small (20%), but uniquely high-risk group of students who experience nearly 50% of the reported alcohol-related consequences (i.e., the multiple repeated consequences, or MRC, group). With the goal of reducing drinking-related consequences later in college, the current study sought to identify potential MRC group members in their first semester by examining: 1) early-risk subgroups based on analysis of early-risk screening constructs (e.g., age of drinking onset, middle school alcohol exposure, high school drinking and consequences); and 2) their association with MRC criteria early in the first semester of college. Methods: A random sample of 2021 first year college student drinkers (56% female) completed a web-based drinking survey in their first semester on campus. Results: Latent class analysis (LCA) revealed four early-risk subgroups: 1) an Early Onset Risk group who endorsed early age of drinking onset and engaged in heavy middle and high school drinking (10%); 2) a Late Onset Risk group who engaged in weekend drinking and drunkenness and experienced six or more unique consequences as seniors in high school (32%); 3) an Early Onset Limited Risk group who only endorsed early age of onset and middle school drinking (3%); and 4) a Minimal Risk group who did not engage in any early risk behaviors (55%). Members of both the Early and Late Onset Risk groups had significantly higher odds of MRC membership in their first semester of college (9.85 and 6.79 greater, respectively). Conclusions: Results suggest age of onset, middle and high school drinking and drunkenness, and frequency of unique consequences could be particularly useful in brief screening tools. Further, findings support early screening and prevention efforts for MRC membership prior to college matriculation. Keywords: early screening; high-risk college drinking; MRC group; alcohol-related consequences
    Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 10/2015; DOI:10.1111/acer.12846 · 3.21 Impact Factor
    • "Among U.S. 12th graders, 66 % report having ever used alcohol (Johnston et al. 2014). This prevalence is a cause for concern as alcohol use has been associated with the failure to complete high school (Hill et al. 2000) and alcohol dependence in adulthood (Hingson et al. 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Although peer pressure can influence adolescents' alcohol use, individual susceptibility to these pressures varies across individuals. The dopamine receptor D4 gene (DRD4) is a potential candidate gene that may influence adolescents' susceptibility to their peer environment due to the role dopamine plays in reward sensation during social interaction. We hypothesized that DRD4 genotype status would moderate the impact of 7th-grade antisocial peer pressure on 12th-grade lifetime alcohol use (n = 414; 58.7 % female; 92.8 % White). The results revealed significant main effects for antisocial peer pressure, but no main effects for DRD4 genotype on lifetime alcohol use. Adolescent DRD4 genotype moderated the association between peer pressure and lifetime alcohol use. For individuals who carried at least one copy of the DRD4 7-repeat allele (7+), antisocial peer pressure was associated with increased lifetime alcohol use. These findings indicate that genetic sensitivity to peer pressure confers increased alcohol use in late adolescence.
    Journal of Youth and Adolescence 08/2015; 44(10). DOI:10.1007/s10964-015-0344-7 · 2.72 Impact Factor
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    • "to develop addiction in their life (Hingson et al., 2006). Adolescent or young adult humans drink alcohol following a pattern called " binge drinking, " defined as rapidly drinking large amounts of alcohol, and young binge drinkers have impaired visual and spatial working memory and lack control of impulsivity (Townsend and Duka, 2005; Crego et al., 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Binge drinking is common in adolescents but the impact of only few binges on learning and memory appears underestimated. Many studies tested the effects of long and intermittent ethanol exposure on LTP and whether LTD is affected remains unknown. We studied the effects of one (3 g/kg, i.p; BEC of 197.5 ± 19 mg/dl) or two alcohol intoxication (given 9 h apart) on adolescent rat's memory and synaptic plasticity in hippocampus slice after different delay. Animals treated with two ethanol intoxications 48 h before training phase in the novel object recognition task failed during test phase. As learning is related to NMDA-dependent mechanisms we tested ketamine and found the same effect than ethanol whereas D-serine prevented learning deficit. In hippocampus slice, NMDA-dependent LTD was abolished 48 h after ethanol or ketamine but prevented after D-serine or in a low-Mg(2+) recording medium. LTD abolition was not observed 8 days after treatment. I.p. treatment with MK-801, THIP or muscimol were ineffective and LTP, intrinsic excitability and glutamate release remains unaffected. Input/ouput curve for NMDA-fEPSPs was shifted to the left 48 h after the binges with a stronger contribution of GluN2B subunit, leading to a leftward shift of the BCM relationship. Interestingly, there was no cellular effects after only one ethanol injection. two ethanol "binges" in adolescent rat are sufficient to reversibly abolish LTD and to evoke cognitive deficits via a short-lasting, repeated blockade of NMDA receptors only, inducing a change in the receptor subunit composition. Furthermore, ethanol effects developed over a 48 h period of abstinence indicating an important role of intermittence during a repeated long-duration binge behaviour. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.
    The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 08/2015; DOI:10.1093/ijnp/pyv087 · 4.01 Impact Factor
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