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HHS HealthBeat (August 15, 2014)

Drinking teens, troubled young adults

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Seven years of data on twins in Finland is shedding light on what happens to teens who drink. Researcher Richard Rose of Indiana University looked at cases in which one twin drank heavily and the other did not. This let him factor out genes and family influences; the twins had the same for both.

Rose says drinkers at age 18 were more likely at 25 to have issues such as substance abuse, poor health, and not continuing in school.

He warns teens:

“Patterns of frequent drinking – and especially drinking that leads to intoxication and drinking-related problems – may have long-lasting and unwanted outcomes in early adulthood.”

The study in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: August 15, 2014