The prevalence of lifetime adult alcohol use disorders is related to age of alcohol drinking onset

The value in the last column is the percentage of the population with lifetime alcohol dependence (AD) related to adolescent drinking. It is calculated from the percentage having been drunk (Johnston et al., 2015), the prevalence of lifetime alcoholism related to age of initiation of drinking (Grant and Dawson, 1997), assuming having been drunk would be considered initiation of drinking. The last column calculates the prevalence of lifetime alcohol dependence related to adolescent drinking as a percentage of whole population studies of the prevalence of alcohol dependence in the United States (Hasin et al., 2007). These estimates suggest about one third to three quarters of alcohol dependence in the United States could be related to adolescent drinking.

Adolescent AgeAdolescent Prevalence of “Having Been Drunk”aPrevalence of Lifetime AD by Age of Drinking OnsetbPrevalence of Lifetime Alcoholism Related to Having Been Drunk at Various AgesbUS Lifetime Prevalence of Alcohol Dependencec (12% of All Ages in US Population)
% of Each Grade% that ADCalculated % of Population% of AD Due to Adolescent Drinking Age
Grade 8: 13–14 years old11384.235
Grade 10: 15–16 years old30309.075
Grade 12: 17–18 years old50178.571
  • a Johnston et al., 2015.

  • b Grant and Dawson, 1997.

  • c Hasin et al., 2007.