April 08, 2020

Starting young boosts alcoholism risk 400%

WASHINGTON — Underage drinkers may have more to worry about than just breaking the law.

A study by the National Institutes of Health shows that children who begin drinking before they turn 15 are four times as likely to develop alcoholism as those who start drinking at the legal age of 21.

They also are twice as likely to abuse alcohol than people who start drinking later, says the study conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a component of the NIH.

Some medical experts say early exposure to drinking, family pressures and alcohol advertisements have encouraged children to began drinking at earlier ages and make breaking the habit more difficult as they grow up.

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