This study found that consuming alcohol alone during adolescence predicts future alcohol use disorders, especially for women. This finding holds true even after controlling for other factors such as binge alcohol use, frequency of alcohol use, socioeconomic status, and gender.
The study found that about 25% of adolescents and 40% of young adults reported using alcohol alone.
The odds of having alcohol use disorder (AUD) symptoms at age 35 were 35% higher for adolescents who used alcohol alone and 60% higher for young adults who used alcohol alone, compared to those who consumed alcohol only in social settings.
According to previous research by Creswell and colleagues, young people mostly consume alcohol alone to cope with negative emotions. This pattern of alcohol use has consistently been linked with developing alcohol problems. Young people are now at even more risk of developing alcohol use problems since the pandemic as their anxiety and depression levels have also gone up.