Early Drinking and Stressful Events Lead to Alcoholism, Study Finds

By Staff Writer

Individuals who have their first drink at a young age and experience stressful events in their life are more likely to develop an addiction and require substance abuse help, according to a new study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

The investigation team said that there was already a well-established connection between drinking at a young age and addiction problems later in life. However, they were interested to see how stress could potentially compound this effect.

They asked 306 young adults about the age at which they had their first drink and about stressors they experienced in their lives. This included both major stressful events, like losing a job or a loved one, as well as everyday stresses.

The results of these surveys showed that individuals who began drinking earlier and experienced a major stressful event in their lives were the most likely to struggle with drinking problems later life. There was no correlation between everyday stress, which has previously been associated with drinking, and alcohol abuse.

Researchers said that their findings show the importance of helping young people delay their first drink, as well as providing addiction treatment for those who suffer from uncontrolled drinking.