The median age at onset was 14 years for alcohol abuse with or without dependence.
This was a nationally representative survey in which over 10,000 young people between the ages of 13 and 18 were interviewed using a modified version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview.
Regular alcohol use, binge drinking and other risk-taking behaviours such as smoking, substance use and risky sexual behaviour emerge in adolescence and there is evidence that these behaviours tend to cluster together (Wiefferink , 2013).
Young people who start to drink before the age of 15 years are reported to be four times more likely to meet criteria for alcohol dependence at some point in their lives (Grant and Dawson, 1997).
This short paper will review patterns of drinking in adolescence and the risk factors that are thought to predispose to the development of alcohol use and other co-morbid disorders in this age group.
Alcohol is the world's third largest risk factor for disease and contributes to 4% of the global burden of disease (Rehm , 2009).The term ‘adolescent’ is an adjective describing a young person in the process of developing from a child into an adult and dates from the late 18th century (Oxford English Dictionary).It is derived from the Latin verb ‘adolescere’ which means ‘to grow up’.Rates of alcohol use were lowest for black and other racial/ethnic groups compared with white or Hispanic adolescents.The increase in prevalence rates over the years from 13 to 18 indicates that this is a key period in the development of alcohol use disorders (AUDs).Early identification of adolescent risk factors may be helpful in preventing and/or attenuating risk.Conclusion: There is a need for high-quality long-term prospective cohort studies to investigate the long-term consequences of adolescent drinking and further work is needed to identify the most effective intervention strategies.The target population was students born in 1995 and the mean age at the time of data collection was 15.8 years.In all ESPAD countries except Iceland, 79% of students had consumed alcohol at least once in the past 12 months and 57% had consumed alcohol in the past 30 days. The estimated average consumption on the most recent drinking day was a third higher for boys who were more likely to drink beer.Drinking was associated with smoking and drug use, and having truanted from school.A recent study of English students aged 13–14 years and 15–16 years found that most had had an alcoholic drink (70 and 89%, respectively), and that the first drink had most often been taken at about the age of 12–13 years, and usually in the company of an adult on a special occasion (Bremner , 2011).