When Was Your First?

On a side note, doesn't Don Draper's consequence-free boozing make him the least realistic TV alcoholic ever?

Binge-Drinking Teens May Be Risking Future Depression

ScienceDaily (Nov. 15, 2010) — Binge-drinking teenagers may be putting themselves at higher risk in adulthood for mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, Loyola University Health System researchers report. A new Loyola study has found that exposing adolescent rats to binge amounts of alcohol permanently altered the system that produces hormones in response to stress. This disruption in stress hormones “might lead to behavioral and/or mood disorders in adulthood,” researchers reported.

Senior author Toni Pak, PhD, and colleagues reported their findings Nov. 15 at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego.

While results from animal studies don’t directly translate to people, the findings do suggest a mechanism by which teenage binge drinking could cause mental health problems in adulthood, Pak said.

“Exposing young people to alcohol could permanently disrupt normal connections in the brain that need to be made to ensure healthy adult brain function,” Pak said.

Binge drinking is defined as a woman having at least four drinks or a man having at least five drinks on one occasion. Heavy binge drinkers can consume 10 to 15 drinks. Binge drinking typically begins around age 13 and peaks between 18 and 22, before gradually decreasing. Thirty-six percent of youths ages 18 to 20 reported at least one binge-drinking episode during the past 30 days, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

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