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Teens who start drinking early at greater risk of alcoholism

Parents children who drink under supervision are more responsible about it.

Parents who let their children drink at home before they are 18 might be putting them at greater risk of alcoholism in their adulthood,a new study has warned.

Researchers from the Yale University found that the younger people are when they have their first drink,the more likely they are to drink heavily as adults,the Daily Mail reported.

Many parents believe that allowing their children to have a tipple at home under supervision is a good way to promote responsible drinking.

Lead author Meghan Morean and her team examined 1,160 students who moved from high school to university (college) over a four-year period.

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The participants filled in questionnaires about when they first started drinking,how frequently they drank heavily and any alcohol-related problems they had.

They found the earlier a teenager tried alcohol,the more likely they would be struggling to control how much they drank at university.

“As expected,beginning to use alcohol at an earlier age was associated with heavier drinking and the experience of more negative consequences during senior year of college,” Morean said.

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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.

“For example,an adolescent who consumed his first drink at age 15 was at greater risk for heavy drinking and problems than an adolescent who took his first drink at age 17,” Morean was quoted as saying by the paper.

“Our first recommendation would be to delay the onset of any alcohol use as long as possible,” she said.

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“It is important to speak to children and adolescents openly about the dangers of heavy drinking and provide them with correct information,for example,’how many drinks does an average male/female need to drink to exceed the legal level for intoxication?” Morean said.

The minimum age for buying alcohol in the UK is 18,although a child can drink between the age of 5 and 17 at home with a guardian’s permission.

The study will be published in the journal ‘Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research’.

First published on: 16-08-2012 at 06:54:02 pm
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