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  • Writer's pictureDr. Edan M. Alcalay

The longer teens wait to drink alcohol the better...


Adolescents who do begin to drink more “heavily” will tend to become dependent on alcohol much more quickly than adults, for example, less than two years versus over several years (Deas, Riggs, Langenbucher, Goldman, & Brown, 2000).  As cited in Deas, Riggs, Langenbucher, Goldman, & Brown (2000), data was collected from 145 adolescents sample (Pollock & Martin, 1999), and a separate sample of 290 adults with DSM-IV alcohol dependence (Langenbucher et al., 1997), to identify between-group differences in terms of onset patterns, symptom prevalence and drinking practices.  The results concluded that those adolescents who began regular drinking, which is defined as drinking once a month for six months or more, manifested their initial dependence symptom at about 7 months from inception (Deas, Riggs, Langenbucher, Goldman, & Brown, 2000).  These adolescents were then diagnosed with dependence disorder within one and half years on average versus eight years for the adults, illustrating that adolescents are much more susceptible to become addicted to alcohol (Deas, Riggs, Langenbucher, Goldman, & Brown, 2000)

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