The study showed that the development of problems associated with alcohol abuse is associated with the age at which a person first tries alcoholic beverages. Consequently, this age index is considered a powerful predictor of the development of alcoholism.
According to Miriam Schneider, one of the leaders of the experimental group of experimental neuropsychopharmacology at the Central Institute of Mental Health of the University of Heidelberg, most adolescents first try alcohol during the transition years, however, most studies studying the risks of developing early alcoholism did not take into account pubertal period. "Usually when investigating problems of alcoholism it is believed that the sooner young people start drinking, the more disastrous are their habits in the future. However, carefully studying the statistics, you can see that the greatest risk of alcoholism develops in those who first tried alcohol between the ages of 12 and 14, at a time when even those who have tried it before have a much lower risk of problems with alcohol ".
"Such studies are retrospective, and the results are not reliable says Rainer Spanagel, director of the Institute of Psychopharmacology at the University of Heidelberg. "Such promising longitudinal studies as this, can provide more reliable results. Also very informative are tests performed on animals. "
"Young people first try alcohol at different ages explains Schneider. "It would be unethical to force young people to drink during the study, so this variable needs to be carried out Longitudinal epidemiological study or experimental testing involving animals in order to assess the problems with alcohol. In addition, the definition of a puberty stage at the age at which alcohol is first taken is unusual, and even in this study one has to rely on rough estimates. "
The pubertal period (transitional age) is a phase of development, during which the human body undergoes large-scale functional changes. For example, the endocannabinoid and dopamine system are at their peak, which is reflected in the behavioral level. At this time, the human brain is incredibly sensitive to all new influences, and alcohol is no exception. It is at this age that taking alcohol or drugs can have the most destructive and lasting effect on the brain that everyone is still in the process of development; sometimes as a result of provoking neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia or alcoholism. Precisely for this purpose it is necessary to conduct preventive work to inform about these risks and the sensitivity associated with the transitional age.
Based on: sciencedaily.com