Navigation Links
Lower Drinking Age Linked to Later-Life Problems
Date:9/18/2009

Study finds more alcohol, drug abuse among those who could drink before 21

FRIDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- People who grew up in a place and time when they could legally buy alcohol before age 21 are more likely than others to be alcoholics or have a drug problem, even well into adulthood, new research shows.

"The effect lingers," said study author Dr. Karen Norberg, a research instructor in psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis. "A drinking-age law of 21 is associated with lower risks of long-term problems with alcohol use."

The study is published online Sept. 18 in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

Norberg and her research colleagues analyzed surveys of nearly 34,000 people born in the United States between 1948 and 1970, examining their records to determine if rates of alcoholism and drug abuse differed depending on their states' liquor-buying laws at the time the participants were teens or young adults.

In the early 1970s, 26 states lowered the drinking age to 18 after the federal voting age was lowered to 18, Norberg said. After passage in 1984 of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, the federal government pressured states to increase the drinking age or forfeit highway funds.

By the late 1980s, most states had complied, raising the drinking age back to 21. Louisiana, the researchers noted, was the last to do so, in 1995.

In the study, people who had been allowed to buy liquor legally before age 21 were 33 percent more likely to have suffered from alcoholism in the year before they were surveyed.

Drinking at a younger age also was found to increase the risk of abusing other drugs. Those allowed to drink legally before age 21 were 70 percent more likely to have had a problem with drugs than were those who had to wait until 21 to drink legally, the study found.

No differences were detected between men and women, various ethnicities or age groups.

The findings suggest, Norberg said, that the frequency or intensity of drinking in late adolescence has long-term effects.

A study released earlier this year reported that states that allow the suspension of a driver's license for any underage alcohol violation and states with zero-tolerance laws that make it illegal for young people to drive with any level of alcohol in their system have fewer drunk-driving accidents.

So-called use-and-lose laws resulted in 5 percent fewer auto accidents related to drinking, the study found. It, too, was published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

Norberg's study is believed to be the first to look at the very long-term effects of lowered drinking ages.

The study "substantiates something that has not been substantiated this way before -- that the [legal] drinking age really has long-term impact," said Dr. Marc Galanter, director of the division of alcoholism and drug abuse at New York University School of Medicine. "Even in [people's] 40s and 50s, this impact was felt."

Though people nationwide continue to debate what the ideal legal drinking age should be, with some again calling for a lower age, Galanter said the results suggest that keeping the status quo would be good.

Traci Toomey, an associate professor of public health at the University of Minnesota, who also has researched the topic, agreed. The new study, she said, provides "another piece of the puzzle that looks at the policy from another angle."

Norberg, however, said that though her research poses a "strong argument" for keeping the drinking age at 21, "there might be some other solution," such as the drinking "learner's permits" that some have proposed.

That concept aims to change the youth culture from acceptance of excessive drinking to preference for limited alcohol consumption. One way to do this, proponents say, could be to allow someone younger than 21 to apply for a learner's permit that allows limited use of alcohol under monitored conditions.

More information

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has more on alcohol consumption.



SOURCES: Karen E. Norberg, M.D., research instructor, psychiatry, Washington University, St. Louis; Marc Galanter, M.D., director, division of alcoholism and drug abuse, Department of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, New York City; Traci Toomey, Ph.D., associate professor, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Sept. 18, 2009, Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Diabetes Medications Dont Lower Inflammation
2. Former Corporate Whistleblower Says The Informant Movie is Only Part of the Story
3. Senior Living Residences Launches Innovative Nutrition Program to Promote Cognitive Health and Lower the Risk of Alzheimers Disease
4. Medications That Lower Breast Cancer Risk Carry Other Dangers
5. Lowering sodium consumption could save US $18 billion annually in health costs, study finds
6. Video: Edie Falco and Cynthia Nixon Appear in New Stand Up To Cancer(TM) PSAs Designed to Educate Cancer Patients About the Importance Of Lowering Ones Risk of Infection During Treatment
7. Small businesses would see lower costs, more comprehensive coverage from health reform
8. Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
9. Combo Therapies to Lower Cholesterol Dont Work
10. Bextra Whistleblower Case Started Investigation of Pfizer
11. Sheller, P.C. Law Firm Instrumental in Pfizers $2.3 Billion Settlement Today in Largest Pharmaceutical Whistleblower Case in History
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Lower Drinking Age Linked to Later-Life Problems
(Date:10/13/2017)... Nevada (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... Hemp CBD Oil utilizing Purzorb™ technology. Applying the Purzorb™process to full spectrum CBD oil ... required and providing a CBD form that can be easily incorporated into liquid products, ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... BASKING RIDGE, N.J. (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... second annual Holly Day Market. Featuring a collection of specialty vendors and unique items ... myriad of personalized and quality-focused health and wellness services offered by the VNA. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Coveros, a leader in agile ... a contract by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The Enterprise ... use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and high value manner across CMS ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... New Orleans, LA (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... fitness centers in the U.S., announced today its plans to open a flagship location ... club will occupy the former Rooms To Go store next to Office Depot in ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Information about ... intend to develop to enable prevention of a major side effect of chemotherapy ... especially in pediatric patients. For cisplatin, hearing loss is FDA listed on-label as ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/4/2017)... 2017 OBP Medical , a ... devices, today announced regulatory approval from ... Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária (ANVISA)) to market ... retractor with integrated LED light source and smoke ... exposure of a tissue pocket or cavity during ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2, 2017 The Rebound mobile app is poised ... reverse the tide of prescription drug addiction. The app empowers ... intake and stepping down their dosage in a safe, controlled ... December 2017; the first 100,000 people to sign up will ... http://www.rebound-solution.com/ ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... --  Montrium , an industry leader in powerful ... Trial Master Files & Inspection Readiness Conference ( ... Services has selected eTMF Connect to ... a leading European contract research organization (CRO), will ... enable greater collaboration with sponsors, improve compliance and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: