Drunk Not Drink Determines Future Problems for Kids

It has long been thought that if kids were exposed to alcohol at a young age, they were at a greater risk for developing life-long alcohol problems and other negative behaviors.

Now, a new study suggests that it is not really so much the age of a person’s first exposure to alcohol which determines later problems as it is when a person first becomes drunk.

Thus, young people who drink a glass of wine with the family during the holidays may not be headed for as much trouble later on, but kids who get drunk early on may be.

According to the article, researchers in Switzerland took a look at more than 20 years of study involving nearly 45,000 teens from dozens of countries who had experience drinking alcohol.

The study, took a careful look at how early drinking or drunkenness influenced negative behaviors like poor grades, fighting and marijuana or tobacco use.

Looked at cumulatively, the data revealed that children who got drunk at a young age were more likely to engage in problematic behaviors by the time they were 15 years old compared to those who had only been exposed to alcohol but had not gotten drunk.

The researchers hastened to point out that changing these negative outcomes would be most successful when the reasons behind the drunkenness are addressed. Young children who engage in excessive drinking are often plagued by other risk factors.

Dealing with the troubling life events and conditions which would contribute to a child’s misuse of alcohol could be effective in mitigating the potential for further damaging behaviors.