Early exposure to alcohol switches off its sedative effect in the teen brain, allowing teens to be able to drink more and still walk a straight line. And the evidence shows this practice will increase the likelihood the teenager would go on to drink more alcohol more frequently. A national survey found one in five 12-year-olds drank in the week before the survey and 90 per cent of Australian kids had tried alcohol by age 14. Teens exposed to even small amounts of alcohol in early adolescence developed a tolerance to its effects. "Your ability to drink a lot before you physically fall down is incredibly reduced if you don't start drinking until you are an adult.” “Binge drinking starts at home” Professor John Toumbourou http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,25921468-661,00.html ######################################## Alcohol initiation before age 14 significantly reduces the probability of completing high school by between 7% and 22%. 1 The frequency of binge drinking (5+ drinks) between ages 13 to 18 increased the risk of not completing school by age 212 1 Koch, S.F., McGeary, K.A (2005) The Effect of Youth Alcohol Initiation on High School Completion. Economic Inquiry. 43 (4), 750-765. 2 Karl G. Hill, Helene R. White, Ick-Joong Chung, J. David Hawkins, and Richard F. Catalano. (2000) Early Adult Outcomes of Adolescent Binge Drinking: Person- and Variable-Centered Analyses of Binge Drinking Trajectories. Alcohol Clinical and Experimental Research. 24(6): 892–901. ######################################## More than 1 in 4 hospitalisations in Australia in 2004/05 were attributed to either Alcohol Dependence or Alcohol Abuse. It was worse for women with more than 1 in 3 hopsitalisations being due to these two causes. Pascal, R., Chikritzhs, T.N. and Jones, P. (2009). Trends in estimated alcohol attributable deaths and hospitalisations in Australia, 1996-2005. National Alcohol Indicators, Bulletin No.12. [R237] Likelihood of alcohol dependence if start drinking after age 20 is 10%. It jumps to 40% if drinking starts before 14 y.o (International Commission Prevention of Alcoholism) Dr. P Landless By 16, one in five teenagers regularly binge drinks; by 18 it is 50 per cent. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/boozy-children-beg-for-rehab/story-e6frf7l6-1226004703053 According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics the combined income generated from the alcohol serving industry in 2004/05 was over $11.1 Billion dollars… but only a year later and that has almost doubled with Pubs, bars and clubs generating a staggering $21.25 Billion dollars. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/boozy-children-beg-for-rehab/story-e6frf7l6-1226004703053 “67.1% of Australians, [just shy of 12 million people] had their first drink of alcohol before the age of 17 including 2.35 million under the age of 10!” Alcohol Awareness Study’, conducted by Roy Morgan research in 2009,

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