Quantcast

Study: Which teens will become binge drinkers? - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Study: Which teens will become binge drinkers?

Posted: Updated:
BURLINGTON, Vt. -

It's a study aimed at stopping the problem before it starts.

"The idea was to recruit a sizable number of 14-year-olds, which is an age before they've starting using drugs and alcohol to a heavy extent, and then follow those kids," said Hugh Garavan, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Vermont.

That group of 2,400 kids were then put through a series of assessments-- everything from personality traits and IQ to family history, blood tests and brain scans-- to help scientists figure out what kinds of risks these kids face that could result in drug and alcohol use, and even mental illness.

"We wanted to identify kids who had had very little alcohol exposure by age 14. So all the kids who had 0 or 1, 2 drinks in their lifetime and then 2 years later which ones had history of binge drinking by 16 and then another group who stayed the same," Garavan said.

The team has been following the group of teenagers for five years and says the assessments were 70 percent accurate in determining who was likely to binge drink. The idea of just how predictable drinking habits can be among teens when considering certain factors is a scary reality for some. So far, they've concluded genetics, family history, home environment and cognitive abilities all play a role.

"I myself would say whether it's nature or nurture, certainly culture is something that can also have a very pernicious effect," said Dennis Mahoney, a professor of German at UVM.

"If you have parents or family members that have a problem with alcohol addiction, then you may be more prone to try it out and you may be more likely to get addicted sooner than other people," said Kayla Rideout, a junior at Essex High School.

The teens are all now 19. Once they're 23, Garavan's team will collect their last set of data. This will help provide a core profile of what traits make a teen likely to begin binge drinking at a young age and continue throughout adolescence. The next step will be to figure out how to stop the cycle. That's where, Garavan says, interventions tailored to each teen's needs come in.

"They're very effective in reducing alcohol and drug use; they're very effective in delaying alcohol and drug use, which is also a very important outcome," Garavan said.

Garavan says it's the only study of its kind, using about 40 different variables to conclude the cause of binge drinking, but it has the potential to help many tackle alcohol and drug abuse.

The study was published in the journal Nature.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Help Wanted

    Help Wanted

    Monday, July 28 2014 7:47 AM EDT2014-07-28 11:47:47 GMT
    Here's a look at who's hiring this morning.The State of Vermont has a number of jobs open. Through the Health Department in Burlington, they are hiring a clinical Services Director – who will provide oversight for clinical programs within children with special health needs. (CSHN) The Education Agency has several limited service positions open in Barre. There are openings for both a fulltime and part-time education consultant -- as well as a full time education programs coordinator.http://hum...
    Here's a look at who's hiring this morning.The State of Vermont has a number of jobs open. Through the Health Department in Burlington, they are hiring a clinical Services Director – who will provide oversight for clinical programs within children with special health needs. (CSHN) The Education Agency has several limited service positions open in Barre. There are openings for both a fulltime and part-time education consultant -- as well as a full time education programs coordinator.http://hum...
  • Learn how to get your finances in order

    Learn how to get your finances in order

    Monday, July 28 2014 7:43 AM EDT2014-07-28 11:43:54 GMT
    Heidi Clute from Clute Wealth Management joins us with financial tips.Phase 1: Where Are You Now?Completing cashflow, networth and liability work sheets can give you a solid understanding of your current financial standing.It's also recommended that you check your credit report (www.annualcreditreport.com) and all insurance coverage annually. Once you've compiled all of these figures, you've completed Phase 1, and should have a solid idea of your financial strengths and weaknesses.Phase 2: Wh...
    Heidi Clute from Clute Wealth Management joins us with financial tips.Phase 1: Where Are You Now?Completing cashflow, networth and liability work sheets can give you a solid understanding of your current financial standing.It's also recommended that you check your credit report (www.annualcreditreport.com) and all insurance coverage annually. Once you've compiled all of these figures, you've completed Phase 1, and should have a solid idea of your financial strengths and weaknesses.Phase 2: Wh...
  • Fire tears through South Burlington condo carport

    Fire tears through South Burlington condo carport

    Monday, July 28 2014 12:03 AM EDT2014-07-28 04:03:39 GMT
    South Burlington condo residents were evacuated overnight as fire tore through their garage.
    South Burlington condo residents were evacuated overnight as fire tore through their garage.
  • Tentative deal reached on VA reform

    Tentative deal reached on VA reform

    Sunday, July 27 2014 9:46 PM EDT2014-07-28 01:46:28 GMT
    A tentative agreement has been reached between the chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs on how to repair the systemic problems within the veterans' health program that left many without access to care.
    A tentative agreement has been reached between the chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs on how to repair the systemic problems within the veterans' health program that left many without access to care.
  • Hail storm and power outages Sunday

    Hail storm and power outages Sunday

    Sunday, July 27 2014 9:45 PM EDT2014-07-28 01:45:34 GMT
    Courtesy: Justin Soter, North FerrisburghCourtesy: Justin Soter, North Ferrisburgh
    Photos of hail sent in from residents in White River Junction, Williston, and North Ferrisburgh.
    Photos of hail sent in from residents in White River Junction, Williston, and North Ferrisburgh.
  • Ditching the weights and hitting the streets

    Ditching the weights and hitting the streets

    Sunday, July 27 2014 8:43 PM EDT2014-07-28 00:43:36 GMT
    More Americans are picking up running as their main form of exercise.
    More Americans are picking up running as their main form of exercise.
  • Searching for savings

    Searching for savings

    Sunday, July 27 2014 7:59 PM EDT2014-07-27 23:59:31 GMT
    Governor Shumlin called for across the board cuts to budgets after economists downgraded the state's revenue forecast.
    Governor Shumlin called for across the board cuts to budgets after economists downgraded the state's revenue forecast.
  • Sunday Science: Record heat wave, Mars mission woes, and new gardening method

    Sunday Science: Record heat wave, Mars mission woes, and new gardening method

    Sunday, July 27 2014 11:40 AM EDT2014-07-27 15:40:12 GMT
    In Sunday Science, we're taking a look at some of the headlines from this past week.
    In Sunday Science, we're taking a look at some of the headlines from this past week.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.