Washington: Many studies have reported that the earlier the age at first drink (AFD), the higher the chances of that person developing later drinking-related problems. However, it is unclear why consuming small quantities at an early age should lead to later problems. A new study of linkages between AFD and problem behaviors – smoking, marijuana use, injuries, fights, and low academic performance – among 15-year-olds has found that early drunkenness was a risk factor rather than an early AFD.“The problem is that people tend to think of early drinking onset in terms of toxicity exposure,” explained Emmanuel Kuntsche, a senior scientist at Addiction Switzerland as well as corresponding author for the study.“That is, the longer any creature is exposed to a toxic circumstance, the worse. Or, the earlier the toxic circumstance was in place, the worse today’s outcome. However, this thinking neglects two principal issues when it comes to alcohol use: one, consumption of small amounts of alcohol such as a sip are not toxic, and two, the majority of the population is not constantly exposed to toxic amounts of alcohol. Adolescent drinking patterns in particular are characterized by large variations from day to day with longer periods of abstinence,” he said.
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