Depressed Kids Prone to Early Drinking
January 9, 2007 9:29am CST
Experimenting with alcohol and illicit substances during youth is a problem that cuts across class, race and other demographic lines. However, according to a new study, children who suffer from depression at an early age are much more likely to start trying alcohol sooner than their peers. Published in the journal Pediatrics, the study was conducted by Columbia University researchers. The study's authors tracked a group of more than 1,100 children over the course of a decade. At the end of the study period, those subjects who had symptoms of depression around the age of 10 were more likely to abuse alcohol later in life. Slightly more than 14% of depressed kids grew up to abuse alcohol, compared with only 4% of children who showed little sign of depression early in life. What This Means for You Identifying and treating depression can’t wait until adolescence or adulthood. Schedule an appointment with a pediatrician if your child begins exhibiting symptoms of depression, including erratic mood swings, loss of appetite and sudden crying spells.