Preventing Childhood Alcohol Abuse Limits Addiction Risk, Expert Says

By Staff Writer

The younger a person is when they first start drinking, the more likely they are to become addicted and require drug rehab treatment in the future. For this reason, experts are urging parents and communities to work together to keep alcohol away from adolescents.

New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services commissioner Arlene Gonzales-Sanchez said that alcohol addiction leads to many health problems and is a major public health crisis in many communities. This makes preventing addiction early in the life of all teens important.

She said that the state should consider new anti-drinking campaigns aimed at teens. However, parents also need to do their jobs. This includes educating themselves on the things they can do to prevent their children from drinking and familiarizing themselves with the resources that are available if their kid develops a problem.

A teenager who starts drinking at age 15 is seven times more likely to become dependent on alcohol at some point in their life than those who wait until age 21 to drink, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.