Teen Drinking Likely To Cause More Problems in Adulthood

The results of a four-year study published in the journal Pediatrics makes some dire conclusions about the long-term effects of teen drinking.

In short, the studies’ authors concluded that the changes that are occurring in the brains of teens as they mature make them more likely to take risks, such as drink alcohol. Unfortunately, the part of the brain that can analyze and protect them against those risks remains under-developed. Those natural physiological changes, augmented by alcohol and not inhibited by an ability to ascertain risks, can lead to serious problems for teen drinkers into adulthood.

The study concluded that:

• Heavy teen drinkers are almost 5 times as likely as other teens to struggle with alcohol, depression, and having healthy relationships in adulthood;
• They were less likely to finish college;
• They earn less money and work at less fulfilling jobs;

Unfortunately, the study did not indicate whether heavy teen drinkers were genetically or environmentally pre-disposed to drug or alcohol problems.

Source: US News & World Report
Date: Apr. 19, 2008

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