New research links teen alcohol use with suicide

Feb 04, 2008

Pre-teens who drink alcohol are substantially more likely to be involved in violent behavior as adolescents and young adults, according to new research from Georgia State University's Institute of Public Health.

"While there have been several studies examining the link between alcohol and violence behavior broadly, few studies have focused specifically on early alcohol use initiation and its impact on either violent or suicidal behaviors," associate professor Monica Swahn said of her research, which appears in the February issue of the journal Pediatrics.

Researchers have long suspected a link between underage drinking and risky behavior, but Swahn's new findings show conclusively that those who begin drinking at such a young age are three times more likely than non-drinking peers to attempt suicide. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among teens and young adults 15 to 24 years of age. Those who begin drinking before 13 also are more likely to be victims of dating and peer violence.

The study also revealed that 35 percent of 7th graders had started using alcohol before age 13. Swahn conducted her research by administering a survey to public school students in grades 7, 9, 11 and 12 in a community defined as "high-risk" because of high levels of poverty, unemployment, serious crimes and single-parent households.

Establishing early alcohol use as a risk factor for violent behaviors enables policy makers and community leaders to more effectively reduce the risk of suicide attempts and other acts of violence, Swahn said.

"Since early alcohol use was strongly associated with both dating violence victimization and suicide attempts, prevention efforts that delay or reduce adolescents' alcohol use may prevent these forms of violence as well," she said. "A number of evidence-based strategies, such as enforcing minimum legal drinking age laws and increasing excise taxes on alcohol, are available but not fully implemented to prevent and reduce alcohol use among minors. Increased support of these strategies will be necessary to prevent alcohol abuse and the many health problems associated with its use among young people."

Source: Georgia State University

Explore further: Experts call for higher exam pass marks to close performance gap between international and UK medical graduates

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New Zealander says eating finger was cry for help

May 04, 2011

A mentally ill New Zealand man who cut off and ate his own finger in a rare case of self-cannibalism has described his action as a cry for help but "ultimately, a very stupid idea".

Indian youth suicide crisis baffles

Mar 21, 2011

(AP) -- Chelle Rose Follette fashioned a noose with her pajamas, tying one end to a closet rod and the other around her neck. When her mother entered the bedroom to put away laundry, she found the 13-year-old ...

Apple reports labor, safety problems at suppliers

Feb 16, 2011

(AP) -- Apple Inc. says its audits found labor, safety and other abuses by its suppliers in 2010, though it praised Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn for saving lives through its handling of a spate of suicides at its factories ...

Early substance misuse continues into middle age

Feb 09, 2011

Adolescents who misuse alcohol and drugs are at increased risk of continued misuse well into middle age. They are also at increased risk of experiencing mental health problems, accidents, physical health problems, premature ...

Recommended for you

Obese British man in court fight for surgery

Jul 11, 2011

A British man weighing 22 stone (139 kilograms, 306 pounds) launched a court appeal Monday against a decision to refuse him state-funded obesity surgery because he is not fat enough.

2008 crisis spurred rise in suicides in Europe

Jul 08, 2011

The financial crisis that began to hit Europe in mid-2008 reversed a steady, years-long fall in suicides among people of working age, according to a letter published on Friday by The Lancet.

New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Study says we're over the hill at 24

(Medical Xpress)—It's a hard pill to swallow, but if you're over 24 years of age you've already reached your peak in terms of your cognitive motor performance, according to a new Simon Fraser University study.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.