Teens with severe drug and alcohol problems often have a low regard for others, a new study suggests. They have higher rates of driving under the influence and having unprotected sex with a history of sexually transmitted disease, The Huffington Post reports.
These teens are also less likely to volunteer their time helping others, the researchers report in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse. Helping others has been shown to help adult alcoholics stay sober, the article notes.
“Alcoholics have been described as a ‘tornado running through the lives of others,’” said lead author Maria Pagano, PhD, an associate professor of psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland. “Results from this study suggest that alcoholics lack awareness of others and how their actions impact others, rather than being sociopaths or intending to harm others.”