Editorial

Adolescents’ Spirituality and Alcohol Use

Authors: Robert H. DuRant, PhD

Abstract

Alcohol abuse is a significant public health problem in this country. Excessive alcohol consumption is the third leading cause of death in the US; more than 75,000 deaths annually are attributed to alcohol consumption. Unhealthy alcohol use has been found in 7 to 20% of adult outpatients, 30 to 40% of emergency room patients and 50% of trauma patients.1 Data from the National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey indicate that 12.5% of adults met DSM-IV alcohol dependence criteria, 19.9% of people who had ever drank met dependence criteria and 8% of adults met dependence criteria before age 25 years.2 Adults who began drinking before 14 years of age were more likely to experience alcohol dependence at some point in their lives (in most cases within 10 year of the onset of their drinking) than adults who began drinking at age 21 years or older.3 Not only is adolescent onset of alcohol consumption associated with adult alcohol abuse, but early age of onset of alcohol use is associated with increased alcohol use and other health risk behaviors as adolescents move from early adolescence to middle adolescence.4

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References

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