Drug and Alcohol Dependence
Article in Press 20 September 2007
We extend the literature on the association of early onset of drug use and estimated risk for developing a substance use disorder (SUD) by investigating the risk that recent onset of alcohol and cannabis use confers for developing a substance use disorder at each chronological age of adolescence and young adulthood (12–21-years-old).
The results indicated that the teenage years were strongly linked to an elevated risk status. The odds ratio (OR) of having a prior year alcohol use disorder (AUD) among recent onset alcohol users was significantly elevated for youth at ages 14, 16, 17 and 18 compared to the estimated risk for AUD among recent onset users aged 22–26. For cannabis, we obtained significantly elevated ORs for a cannabis use disorder (CUD) at each of teenage years when compared to older recent onset users (aged 22–26).
These data provide further epidemiological support that adolescence is a particularly vulnerable period for developing a SUD.
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