Predictors of problem drinking among older adolescent emergency department patients
This study investigated consumption patterns, alcohol-related problems and predictors of problematic drinking among older adolescents. Two-hundred eighty older adolescents (148 males, mean +/- SD age = 18.5 [1.8] years) treated in two Emergency Departments (ED) completed the Alcohol Use Disorders Inventory Test (AUDIT) to identify problem drinkers. Logistic regression was used to determine predictors of problem drinker status. Higher rates of problem drinking were found among participants who were treated for physical assaults or for acute alcohol intoxication than were found among participants treated for medical illness. Being alcohol-positive in the ED, increasing frequency of drunkenness, and being treated for physical assault were predictive of problematic drinking after controlling for demographic variables. In conclusion, older adolescents who present for treatment of an assault-related injury or acute alcohol intoxication, who are alcohol-positive in the ED, and who report getting intoxicated once a month or more are likely to have a severe drinking problem.
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