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Alcohol Use: From Childhood Through Adolescence | Journal of Pediatric Nursing

Mar 08, 2012

Alcohol use is often overlooked and more importantly unsuspected in young children 3–11 years of age. Alcohol use in preteens is commonly overlooked when there is growing evidence to suggest that the age at which one begins drinking can be predictive of future problem drinking and other substance abuse. There is a need for health care professionals and elementary school educators to be aware of the real and growing problem of alcohol use from childhood through adolescence. It is sometimes difficult to recognize because many of the effects of alcohol mimic routine presentations seen in children. This article focuses on the significance, contributing factors, effects on the body, comorbidities, and social and psychological effects of alcohol use on children through adolescence. It also examines diagnostic screening for alcohol use in adolescence and the detrimental role of the nurse in assisting with identifying and preventing the problem of alcohol use in childhood through adolescence.


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The findings and conclusions in these newsletter materials are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Children's Safety Network.