In recent years excessive alcohol consumption among minors and early young

In recent years excessive alcohol consumption among

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early young adults has become a major public health dilemma in the United States. Alcohol is themost used substance of abuse and the consequences of underage drinking can affect all people. as a problem area of national significance
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Underage drinking is a serious public health problem in the United States. Alcohol is the most widely usedsubstance of abuse among America’s youth, and drinking by young people pose enormous health and safety risks.The consequences of underage drinking can affect every person—regardless of age or drinking status. We all feel the effects of the aggressive behavior, property damage, injuries, violence, and deaths that can result from underage drinking. This is not simply a problem for some families—it is a nationwide concern.These are some of the factors that influence teenagers to abuse alcohol.IntroductionIn 1970, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) established the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). At that time, both the general public and the scientific community predominantly regarded alcoholism as a disorder of adulthood, and the major focus of NIH-funded scientific work was on understanding its etiology and finding new treatments for it. Most of the etiological research focused on physiological and clinical analyses in adults, and the drinking behavior of adolescents only appeared in discussions of the epidemiology and sociology of drinking patterns (e.g., Kissin and Begleiter 1972, 1976; Popham 1970).Simultaneously, but unrelated to the research on the adult psychopathology, a separate scientific community was sensitized to the public concern about an illegal activity—underage drinking—that potentially could result in great personal and societal cost in the form of accidents and loss of life. By the late 1970s, a significant body of research was addressing the critical issue of why most youth only begin drinking in mid- to late adolescence and consume alcohol in small amounts at infrequent intervals and without problems, whereas others begin much earlier, and in some cases progress to consuming near-alcoholic levels within a short time after initiation. At that time, NIAAA’s Division of Epidemiology and Prevention increasingly began to support research addressing these issues, and an important body of theory and research began to articulate the developmental nature of drinking behavior and to identify individual and social contextual factors that regulate it (Blane and Chafetz 1979; Jessor and Jessor 1977; Kandel 1978). This research also started to investigate how the initiation of drinking could be delayed and how the occurrence of problems could be reduced once drinking had begun (Kandel 1989; Robins and Przybeck 1985).
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