The Not-Quite-So-Grim Neurology of Teenage Drinking

Here is another perspective on the story about the impact of age of first use from a few days ago. The writer argues that the early drinking and future alcohol dependence is caused by environmental factors and hereditary predisposition rather than early drinking cause future alcohol problems.

The author has a pretty strong bias against the disease model and believes that most addiction is self-medication (listen to minute 33:45).

I think she’s right that the coverage of this overstates the likelyhood that alcoholism can be “caught” by early exposure. But, she is probably just as guilty of understating the potential impact of early exposure, completely excluding any mention of research on early drug exposure and brain plasticity.