An introduction to the issue of young adults and alcohol

Risk Factors and Consequences Despite a minimum legal drinking age of 21, many young people in the United States consume alcohol. The progression of drinking from use to abuse to dependence is associated with biological and psychosocial factors. This Alcohol Alert examines some of these factors that put youth at risk for drinking and for alcohol-related problems and considers some of the consequences of their drinking.

An introduction to the issue of young adults and alcohol

The high prevalence of drinking in young adults is a serious public health concern. Alcohol use among young adults often is associated with a wide variety of risky behaviors and both immediate and long-term negative consequences.

The — National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions NESARC presents a unique opportunity to examine young adult drinking because it has an excellent response rate, oversamples young adults ages 18—24, and includes college-related group housing.

According to the NESARC data, in — over three-quarters of young adults ages 21—24 were current drinkers, as were nearly two-thirds of those ages 18—20, despite the fact that the legal drinking age is More than half of young adult men exceeded the recommended daily drinking limit, as did two-fifths of young adult women.

Although the prevalence of exceeding the daily limit is higher for those ages 21—24 than for those ages 18—20, it also is substantial for those ages 18— Because drinking more than the recommended per-occasion maximum is likely to impair mental and physical performance, the increase over the past decade in the prevalence among young adults of drinking five or more drinks 12 or more times per year may help explain the increased risk of injury and other acute negative consequences commonly observed among college students ages 18— And according to the Monitoring the Future Survey, the prevalence of drinking and heavy drinking i.

The high prevalence of drinking in young adults is a serious public health concern because alcohol use by this age group often is associated with a wide variety of risky behaviors and various negative consequences.

Many of these consequences are immediate and tragic Hingson et al. College students continue to stand out from other young adults because of their relatively high rates of heavy drinking, even though their average daily alcohol consumption generally is lower than that of their noncollege peers Johnston et al.

Until recently, however, college students have been a difficult population to study. In general, they are not well represented in normal household surveys, which typically exclude group housing, such as dormitories, fraternities, and sororities.

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In addition, group-housing-based samples of college students must be quite large in order to attain accurate national representation because there is great heterogeneity in the types of student populations served in these institutions.

Finally, the drinking behavior of young adults, particularly college students, often is characterized by episodic drinking, which may be more difficult to capture adequately on surveys that rely only on the measure of average alcohol consumption over a short period of time.

NESARC is uniquely suited to examine young adult drinking for three reasons—the excellent response rate, the oversampling of young adults ages 18—24, and the inclusion of college-related group housing. Findings presented here include the prevalence of alcohol use in youth ages 18—24; drinking frequency and quantity; frequency of heavy drinking, intoxication, and driving after drinking; as well as age of drinking onset and choice of drinking locations for different types of alcoholic beverages.

In particular, this Bulletin examines the number of young adults who exceed daily and weekly guidelines for low-risk drinking.

The current public health recommendations for the nation—Healthy People Department of Health and Human Services —include a number of goals related to alcohol use.

The accompanying text explains that men may be at risk for alcohol-related problems if they drink more than 14 drinks per week or more than 4 drinks per occasion and that women may be at risk if they drink more than 7 drinks per week or more than 3 drinks per occasion.

Most people who exceed these guidelines do so by drinking more than the specified maximum number of drinks per occasion at least once a year. Drinking more than the per-occasion maximum impairs mental performance and physical coordination, increasing the risk of injury.

For example, the definition of young adults conventionally includes all people ages 18— Yet people who fall into the younger part of this group i. Underage drinking remains a major public health concern.

To better understand the scope of this problem, the data presented here are given for the total young adult population as well as for the subgroups of people ages 18—20 and 21— Bureau of the Census. It includes people living in households, military personnel living off base, and people living in the following group quarters: One sample adult was selected for interview in each household.

The sampling frame response rate was 99 percent, the household response rate was 89 percent, and the person response rate was 93 percent, yielding an overall response rate of 81 percent. A total of 43, respondents age 18 and older completed the survey.

The data reported here are based on responses from 5, young adults ages 18—24, including 3, current drinkers i. Nevertheless, the variables selected to represent the current drinking status of young adults pertain to any alcohol use regardless of beverage type.

These items were taken directly from the survey and had a reference period of the last 12 months. The only exception is the daily volume of alcohol i. This measure was derived by NIAAA using a somewhat complex algorithm that summed beverage-specific volumes across the four beverage types.

The various drinking measures were defined as follows: Current drinking—Had at least one drink of alcohol in the past year. Drinking frequency—Number of days on which any alcoholic beverages were consumed in the past year. Using the midpoints of the categorical response options, the frequencies were converted to number of drinking days per year to calculate the means.Young people and alcohol Factsheet Institute of Alcohol Studies Alliance House 12 Caxton Street London Young people and alcohol: Introduction Today, young people's drinking habits differ from older generations.

Recent trends suggest is assumed that some of what applies to young adults also applies to adolescents. 3. Unfit for life and milked by milk The case epigrammatizes its hyperventilated or accumulate agonizingly.

1 Sep an introduction to the issue of young adults and alcohol The effects of alcohol on young people are not the same as they are on adults. While alcohol misuse can present health risks and cause careless behaviour in all age groups, it is even more dangerous for young .

According to the American Medical Association, "alcoholism is an illness characterized by significant impairment that is directly associated with persistent and excessive use of alcohol.

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Youth Drinking: Risk Factors and Consequences D espite a minimum legal drinking age of 21, many young people in the United States consume alcohol. Some abuse alcohol by drinking frequently or by binge drinking--often defined as having five or more drinks* in a row.

An introduction to the issue of young adults and alcohol

ALCOHOL & YOUNG ADULTS 01 Introduction 04 Alcohol and Young Adults sociological factors that shape a nation’s drinking patterns. Alcohol abuse, particularly among the young, is an increasingly serious issue and of concern to many, including parents and politicians, advertisers and ‘educators’, as well as health experts and the police.

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