The teens were asked:
- When they first tried alcohol?
- When they first got drunk?
- How often they drank in the first month?
- How often they engaged in binge drinking?
The research indicated that teens who had their first drink at age 14 and first got drunk when they were 15 became heavier drinkers than teens that started drinking at the same age but were 18 before they first got drunk.
“We would recommend that parents attempt to delay their children’s use of alcohol as long as possible,” study author Meghan E. Morean said. “However, even among adolescents who have had their first drink, a significant percentage has yet to drink to intoxication. Therefore, parents’ efforts to delay drinking to intoxication may be helpful in reducing their child’s long-term risk for negative outcomes associated with early drinking.”
The study appears in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.