Monday, October 20, 2008

Study Suggests "At-Risk" Teens Aren't The Only Ones At Risk for Alcohol Problems

A new study out from the University of California, Irvine suggests that substance abuse programs geared towards at-risk youth are missing almost half of their audience. Efforts to reduce or delay early substance exposure should not be restricted to at-risk adolescents, researchers say—all adolescents exposed to alcohol suffered :
“Specifically, we asked whether there is evidence that early exposure to illicit substances is a causal factor in adolescents’ future lives (“are drugs bad for kids?”), or whether adolescents with a developmental history of conduct problems are simply more likely than other adolescents to be exposed to alcohol and illicit substances and to experience poor adult outcomes (“do bad kids do drugs?”)…

“Results support the policy position that early substance exposure poses independent risks for adolescents’ future lives; these risks extend beyond the development of later substance dependence, to include risks for herpes infection, early pregnancy, and crime. With respect to prevention, it is important to note that in our study, 50% of the adolescents exposed to substances before age 15 did not have a prior history of conduct problems, yet they experienced many of the same ill consequences as their peers who are already at risk.”

Here's a link to the full study, published in the October Edition of Psychological Science.

(via The Daily Pilot)

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