Monday, 1 August 2016

Teenage exposure to drugs, alcohol affects chance of use in adulthood

Previous research has linked parental abuse of substances to substance use among youths but researchers say this is the first time they are taking a look at the long-term results of this exposure.

A recent study suggests easy access to drugs or alcohol during the teen years increases the risk of a problem in adulthood.

Researchers at Michigan State University observed that easy access to drugs or alcohol at home during adolescence increases the risk for use and abuse later in life, and that the effects are stronger for males and white people.

For the study published in The Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse, researchers analyzed data on 15,000 adolescents and young adults collected as part of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, reviewing cases from waves 1, 3 and 4 of the study when survey participants were an average age of 16, 22 and 29 years old.

Overall, the researchers found teens with easy access started using drugs and alcohol at a younger age and were more likely to be using one or both as they got older.

Males with more access to mind-altering substances early in life were found to be more likely to do use them in their 20s than females exposed to them during adolescence.

Despite Hispanic and Asian participants having greater access to drugs and alcohol than other racial and ethnic groups in the study, whites were found to be much more likely to use them in adulthood than Hispanic, Asian or black participants in the study.