Drinking behavior may be linked to early alcohol use

March 16, 2011 2:25:13 PM PDT
How old were you when you had your first drink? A new study says your first taste of alcohol may predict if you reach for the bottle under stress.

The finding in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research finds that, if you had your first taste of alcohol at a young age, you may be at increased risk in later life for heavier drinking under stress.

Researchers studied more than 300 people, their drinking habits, and stressful events in their lives. The results: the earlier someone drank alcohol, and the higher levels of stress they had, the more alcohol they consumed.

Authors say this highlights the importance of prevention programs and may help identify those at risk for alcohol abuse.