Early help can stop excessive drinking

Dangerous drinking among young people could be prevented through early intervention. This is according to new research from Pennsylvania State University, which found a tailored approach for US individuals in their first few weeks of college can curb their alcohol intake later in their student years.

Michael Cleveland, a Research Associate at the Prevention Research Center and the Methodology Center at the learning institute said: "Research shows there is a spike in alcohol-related consequences that occur in the first few weeks of the semester, especially with college freshmen."

Mr Cleveland explained safe navigation through this period can significantly reduce the likelihood of problems arising at a later stage.

According to the investigation, heavy-drinking students during the summer prior to attending college were more likely to veer away from such behaviour as a result of interventions from either peers or parents.

John Castleton, a Chartered Psychologist, said: "A review published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in 2011, pointed out that 'socialising has become synonymous with drinking for young adults in the UK', but drinking generally starts much earlier, so 'early' interventions need to start well before college age.

"Parents and other family members are the main influence on children's attitudes and behaviour, although peers become increasingly important, so interventions should encompass the wider social environment.

"This includes encouraging parents to demonstrate consistent behaviour; not giving mixed messages or having double standards when it comes to their own substance use."