Bloomberg News (4/3, Ostrow) reports, “The 15 percent of US high school seniors who abuse alcohol and drugs first began using them at age 14 or 15,” according to a study published online April 2 in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Adolescents “whose substance abuse caused problems socially, in school or with the law, started drinking or doing drugs when they were 14 or 15 years old, the research found. By the time kids reach age 18, almost half consumed at least 12 drinks a year and 15 percent were abusers, according to the report.”
HealthDay (4/3, Preidt) points out that after analyzing “data from a US survey of more than 10,000 teens between the ages of 13 and 18,” researchers found that “more than 78 percent of the oldest teens had consumed alcohol, about 47 percent consumed at least 12 drinks a year, and about 15 percent met the criteria for alcohol abuse.” In addition, the study “found that 81.4 percent of the oldest teens reported the opportunity to use illicit drugs, 42.5 percent used drugs, and 16.4 percent were drug abusers.” Reuters (4/3, Seaman) also covers the story.
— “High School Substance Abusers Start Using at Age 14, Study Finds,”Nicole Ostrow, Bloomberg, April 2, 2012.