It is estimated that ∼2.5 million deaths each year are directly attributable to alcohol, with 9% of deaths in the 15- to 29-year age group being alcohol-related (WHO, 2011).
When data from the World Health Organization's Global Burden of Disease study were used to calculate cause-specific disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) for young people aged 10–24 years, the main risk factors were found to be alcohol (7% of DALYs), unsafe sex (4%), iron deficiency (3%), lack of contraception (2%) and illicit drug use (2%) (Gore , 2011).
More girls than boys reported heavy episodic drinking in Sweden, and rates were the same for boys and girls in Finland, Iceland, Norway, Ireland and the UK, France, Monaco, Belgium, Estonia and the Russian Federation.
Analysis of 2011 data on smoking, drinking and drug use in 11–15 year olds in England showed that 12% had consumed alcohol in the past week, 8% had smoked over the same period and 6% had taken drugs in the past month (Health and Social Care Information Centre, 2012).
Early identification of adolescent risk factors may be helpful in preventing and/or attenuating risk.
Conclusion: There is a need for high-quality long-term prospective cohort studies to investigate the long-term consequences of adolescent drinking and further work is needed to identify the most effective intervention strategies.The 13–14 year olds were more likely to have been drinking alcopops in the 7 days before the survey, whereas the 15–16 year olds were most likely to have been drinking beer, lager, spirits or liqueurs.By the age of 15–16 years, 79% of the students had been drunk and two-thirds of this group (66%) said they drank to get drunk at least once a month.Results: Alcohol use and other risk-taking behaviours such as smoking, substance use and risky sexual behaviour emerge in adolescence and tend to cluster together.Heavy alcohol consumption in late adolescence appears to persist into adulthood and is associated with alcohol problems, including dependence, premature death and diminished work capacity.Spirits were the most common beverage for girls in over half of countries.Rates of ‘heavy episodic drinking’, defined as more than five or more drinks on the same occasion in the past 30 days, were 43% for boys and 38% for girls.Rates of alcohol use were lowest for black and other racial/ethnic groups compared with white or Hispanic adolescents.The increase in prevalence rates over the years from 13 to 18 indicates that this is a key period in the development of alcohol use disorders (AUDs).Early alcohol use is associated not only with more regular and higher levels of alcohol use and dependence in adulthood, but also with more mental health and social harms (Mc Cambridge , 2011).In the US National Co-morbidity Study-Adolescent Supplement (NCA-S), over ¾ of adolescents (78.2%) had consumed alcohol by late adolescence, and 15.1% met criteria for DSM-IV lifetime alcohol abuse (Swendsen , 2012).