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Alcohol and Other Drug Detox: The Rutgers Alcohol Problem Index

The Rutgers Alcohol Problem Index (RAPI) has recently suggested that a problem drinking for someone who is eighteen years of age, will most likely predict alcoholism by the age of twenty five. It is unknown through the study, however, how many of these alcoholic will seek through an alcohol or other drug detox.

The RAPI is a 23-item self-administered questionnaire to help assess problems in for adolescents who drink. Teenagers completing this test simply circle the number that closely reflects how often they have experienced each problem. For those teenagers who suffer with reading difficulties, the test can be read by an interviewer. Additionally, the RAPI can be used to open up discussion to someone who is familiar with excessive alcohol usage.

Almost 600 people were tested at the age of eighteen, and then interviewed the same people at the age of twenty-five. The second test was a different type of measure to assess alcohol and abuse and dependence. Here are some of the results*:

  1. Drinking related problems at eighteen (violence at school because of alcohol use) were more often diagnosed with alcoholism by the age of twenty-five.
  2. The link was stronger in females than males.
  3. There was a direct correlation between the number of people diagnosed with alcoholism by the age twenty-five and higher results of the first test at eighteen, 74% higher.

* Because the study involved twins, the researchers were able to rule out factors such as the parents’ drinking and socioeconomic factors.