Alcohol Abuse Amongst Underage Persons
Underage drinking is a widespread public health problem that has affected millions of persons under the age of twenty-one. 5,000 people under age 21 die each year from alcohol-related car crashes, homicides, suicides, alcohol poisoning, and other injuries such as falls, burns, and drowning. In 2009, about 10.4 million young people between ages 12 and 20 drank more than “just a few sips” of alcohol. As kids get older, they drink more. By age 15, half of teens have had at least one drink. By age 18, more than 70% of teens have had at least one drink. Underage persons who are drinking regularly need to find ways to get alcohol since they cannot legally buy it themselves. An option that many underage drinkers turn to is buying a fake I.D or using someone else’s illegally. Underage youth can take their older siblings or family’s I.D’s to get into clubs or to purchase alcohol. New research states that this kind of behavior can lead to alcohol use disorders later on in life.
Fake ID’s and Alcohol Abuse Use
“Alcohol use is extremely prevalent among underage youth in the United States — despite MLDA laws — and poses health and safety risks,” said Amelia M. Arria, associate professor of behavioral and community health and director of the Center on Young Adult Health and Development at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, as well as corresponding author for the study. “Alcohol is easy for most youth to obtain, and false IDs comprise one of the factors contributing to alcohol’s easy accessibility.”
Arria added that false ID use seems to be related to high-risk drinking in at least two major ways. “First, heavy drinkers tend to be more likely to obtain and use a false ID,” she said. “Second, false ID use appears to contribute to further increases in how much and how often a student drinks. In our sample, we found a clear pathway from more frequent false ID use to more frequent drinking, which led to greater risk for developing alcohol dependence, even after adjusting for several risk factors for AUDs. Thus, we believe false ID use contributes to high-risk drinking patterns because it increases the accessibility of alcohol and makes it easier for students to drink more frequently.” This study is the first to examine the association between false ID use and subsequent risk for developing AUDs.
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