Research & Resources

Extreme Binge Drinking During Adolescence and Future Substance Use Disorders in American Indian and Mexican American Young Adults

Researchers collected retrospective data on adolescent binge drinking (5 drinks for boys, 4 for girls, per occasion, at least once per month) and/or adolescent extreme binge drinking (10 or more drinks per occasion, at least once per month) and tested for associations with demographic and diagnostic variables including alcohol and other substance use disorders. Cross-sectional data were collected from young adults ages 18–30, including 534 American Indians (AI) and 534 Mexican Americans (MA). Thirty percent of the sample reported binge drinking and 21 percent reported extreme binge drinking. Those reporting monthly binge drinking were more likely to be AI and have less education. Those reporting extreme binge drinking were more likely to be AI, male, younger, have less education, and have a lower economic status than participants who did not report any binge drinking. Both drinking types were associated with higher impulsivity, a family history of alcohol use disorder (AUD), and a lower level of response to alcohol. Both drinking types also were associated with subsequent adult AUD, other substance use disorders, and conduct disorder/antisocial personality disorder, but not with anxiety/depression. Although binge drinking was more common in AI participants than MA participants, there were few effects of race in individual risk factor analyses. Monthly adolescent binge drinking and extreme adolescent binge drinking were common among AI and MA participants as adolescents. As is the case with other ethnic groups, these drinking patterns resulted in highly significant increases in the odds of developing AUD and other substance use disorders in young adulthood.

This paper, “Extreme binge drinking during adolescence: Associations with subsequent substance use disorders in American Indian and Mexican American young adults,” was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine.

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