Study Shows a New Risk Factor of Drug Abuse

A recent study discovered a new risk factor of substance abuse. Neurobehavioral inhibition among boys 10-12 years of age was found to be a possible determinant of substance abuse, violent behavior and even a potential for criminal activity.

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The trait

Neurobehavioral inhibition is a type of psychological trait associated with children and that is characterized by an inability to control ones behavior and emotions. The trait can give rise or define several other psychological conditions including attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder in children. Those who exhibited this trait as children are more apt to develop anxiety disorders when they grow older.

According to other studies, neurobehavioral inhibition can give rise to different psychological conditions later in life. These can include obsessive-compulsive disorders, anxiety sensitivity and depression.

The study

The study, which was published in the Psychology of Addictive Behaviors (December 2007) was composed of 278 male subjects aged ten to twelve years old. The researchers examined the behavior of these boys and subjected them to a re-evaluation when they turned sixteen to nineteen years old. The research found that those who manifested the psychological trait during their younger years we're more likely to acquire drug and/or alcohol addiction problems by the time they turn 19.

It appears that the trait also predicted a higher probability that the individuals affected will incur histories of arrests or be implicated in forms of violence and misdemeanor.

The said study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. According to the organization, the psychological trait can turn out to exhibit a potential value as a screening tool for the detection of high risk youths.

The study should be able to pave the way towards employing various therapy methods that are geared towards the prevention of the development of addiction and a predilection for violence among children exhibiting neurobehavioral inhibition. While the study has still yet to establish recommendations on treatment approaches, it does offer the first step towards understanding the development of addiction. This is literally nipping the issue in the bud as scientists try to pinpoint the various risk factors that can lead an individual to resort to substance abuse later in his life.

Numerous studies are still being conducted on this and other potential determinants of substance abuse. All these researches aim to help develop different approaches to both addiction treatment and even in prevention.

 

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