In one of the first studies to look at alcohol and tobacco use in young teens, ages 12 to 15, with ADHD and conduct disorder, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center researchers found increased use.
"Early onset of substance abuse is a significant public health concern," says William Brinkman, MD, a pediatrician at Children's and the study's lead author.
"Adolescents who use substances before the mid-teen years are more likely to develop dependence on them than those who start later, that's why prevention is so important," Brinkman says.
The local heroin crisis has rightfully received a lot of attention, but alcohol is still the most-abused drug in the U.S. It wrecks lives, devastates families, and is responsible for more than 4,300 deaths each year among those under the age of 21.