Recently, this blog has focused on a number of different factors, ranging from childhood trauma to a pronounced sense of shame, that can factor into alcohol and substance abuse. Due to the complex nature of addiction, medical researchers and government organizations are constantly searching for trends that may shed light on the most prominent risk factors. This week, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis unearthed another environmental element that could influence how an individual treats alcohol – state drinking ages.
One key aspect that separates an alcoholic from a casual drinker is that they simply cannot control their consumption. Rather than stopping after a drink or two, many alcoholics feel a compulsive need to continue drinking, and the results can be disastrous. A new study published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, focuses on this consumption method, commonly known as binge drinking.
According to a press release shared by ScienceDaily, researchers have discovered that individuals from states with lower drinking ages were more likely to engage in binge-drinking throughout their lives. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they would consume more alcohol than people from other areas – rather, when they do imbibe, it is in greater quantities.
“Even decades later, the ability to legally purchase alcohol before age 21 was associated with more frequent binge drinking,” said Andrew Plunk, PhD, a primary author of the study.
The source notes that, though binge-drinking is often associated with college culture, this trend was most noticeable among men who had not pursued higher education.
If someone you care about is one of the 14 million Americans estimated to abuse alcohol, don’t hesitate to seek help from an alcohol interventionist. By holding an alcohol abuse intervention, you may be able to get your loved one back on their feet.