Fake IDs Promote High-Risk Drinking and Alcohol Related Disorders, Study


Many college going students use fake IDs to buy alcohol, which in turn fuels the habit due to easy and plentiful access and might even lead to alcohol use disorders (AUDs), according to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland.

In a sample of 1,015 college students that included 529 females and 486 males, nearly two-thirds of the respondents accessed alcohol through false identifications. All the participants who were observed for the first four years of college had consumed alcohol at least once by their first year.

"In our sample, we found a clear pathway from more frequent false ID use to more frequent drinking, which led to greater risk for developing alcohol dependence, even after adjusting for several risk factors for AUDs," said Amelia M. Arria, associate professor of behavioral and community health at UMD in a press release. "Thus, we believe false ID use contributes to high-risk drinking patterns because it increases the accessibility of alcohol and makes it easier for students to drink more frequently."

Using fake Ids to purchase alcohol is common in the country. More and more students engage in deceitful activities to get hold of them. Recently, William Finely Trosclair, a 22-year-old University of Georgia (UGA) student, and former Gainesville State University student Tyler Andrew Ruby, received jail sentences, probation and a fine of $5,000 fine following a fake ID manufacturing and distribution operation.

According to the authorities, the operation provided door-to-door service for underage students wanting fake IDs.

In the study, Arria found that about 66 percent of underage students used false Ids and they used it about 25 percent of the time to get access to drinks before turning 21.

Through the study, Arria also identified the predictors that can determine which students are more likely to suffer from AUD. These markers are childhood conduct problems, sensation-seeking, age at first drink, high school drinking frequency and drug use among others.

"I think some of the most important findings to come out of this study have to do with how widespread this problem is," said Jennifer Read, an associate professor in the department of psychology at the State University of New York at Buffalo. "I was surprised that almost two-thirds of the students used false IDs. It will be interesting to see if this reflects something specific to this university or region in Dr. Arria's study, or if the use of false IDs is this ubiquitous across campuses in the U.S."

Arria said that the findings will be different among young adults of the same age who are not attending college.

The study will be published in the March 2014 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

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