Alcohol drinking in youth directly linked to severe depression

Alcohol drinking in youth directly linked to severe depression

We instinctively know that alcohol and young people don’t mix; their brains are not fully developed until they are 21.  The first genuine and thorough study that I have seen looking specifically at youth drinking was released 16 May 2012 and it is sobering reading.  It shows one of the key drivers behind the massive growth in depression and depressed youth and young adults is in a word - alcohol.

The Report titled “My World Survey” is the first Irish comprehensive national study of youth mental health by Headstrong (The National Centre for Youth Mental Health and the UCD School of Psychology).  The very comprehensive research talked to 14,306 people aged 12-25 years and found that young people who overuse alcohol are much more likely to suffer from severe depression, anxiety or stress. 

The research found 38% reported harmful drinking behaviors.  Severe or very severe depressive symptoms were only present in 6% of those without drinking problems but were present in 27% of those with alcohol dependency or drinking problems. 

The researchers found that the higher the level of drinking, the higher the level of mental health problems - stress, depression and anxiety. 

The really bad news for the future?  Around 50% of all sixth years in secondary school and over 60% of young adults aged 17-25, reported drinking behaviour problems.  This creates a tsunami of depression, anxiety and stress in the future as these young people become the leaders of tomorrow. 

"For young people we now see there is a link between excessive drinking and mental health,” said Barbara Dooley, Ph.D., research director at Headstrong and lecturer at UCD School of Psychology. 

Notice how this is not on the front page of the newspapers but rubbish like "how good alcohol is for the heart" is?

What are the two biggest selling categories in NZ supermarkets daily?  

Wine and beer.  

What a surprise.

As reported by on May 16, 2012.

Posted: Wednesday 23 May 2012