Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Drug Addiction -- Adolescent Alcohol Abuse, 10.4 Million Drinkers


Year after year, more money is spent promoting the use of alcohol than that of any other product. Perhaps through its elaborate and creative marketing, the most basic, yet important fact about alcohol is often overlooked — alcohol is a drug — the most commonly used and widely abused drug in the world.

According to the most recent national Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA), there were 10.4 million drinkers ages 12 to 20 in 1998. Of these, 5.1 million were binge drinkers, meaning that they drank five or more drinks on at least one occasion in the month before the survey. Two million were heavy drinkers, binge drinking at least five times that month.

The average age when youth first try alcohol is 11 years for boys and 13 years for girls. According to research by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, adolescents who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin drinking at age 21.

“Generally, an adolescent’s risk for alcohol dependence at some point in life decreases by 14 percent with each additional year that drinking is delayed”, states Joanna Young of DrugAddictionHelpLine.com.Data from National Household Survey on Drug Abuse indicates that while 915,000 youth ages 12 to 20 reported alcohol dependence in the past year, only 16 percent of them (148,000) received treatment.

Several large-scale school surveys suggest that 4 to 20 percent of teenagers have either a current or past history of alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence. For help with overcoming addiction or to request drug education personnel to your school or group go to; www.DrugAddictionHelpLine.com

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