Adolescent Alcohol Use Reductions & Academic Benefits

A study published in Addictive Behaviors (2021) examined to what extent reduction or complete cessation of alcohol consumption affects school performance among 37,223 grade 9–12 students attending 89 secondary schools across Ontario (n = 79) and Alberta (n = 10), Canada.

During follow-up, 1465 (6.4%) reductions and 1903 (8.3%) cessations in alcohol consumption, and 1447 (10.1%) reductions and 2147 (14.9%) cessations of binge drinking were reported.

Students who quit or reduced their drinking or binge drinking were less likely to skip classes, leave their homework incomplete, or expect to get or to aspire to educational qualifications above a high school diploma compared to those who continued their alcohol use.

The authors concluded that aside from health benefits, reduction or cessation of alcohol use may improve students’ academic rigor.

Substance use prevention specialists may wish to share this study’s results with local and state school personnel as evidence of the need for school-based alcohol use prevention programs to enhance their educational mission.

In addition, youth substance use prevention interventions should highlight the benefits of avoiding, reducing and stopping alcohol consumption on their school performance and academic success.

Read the research abstract: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306460321000678

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