Increased impulsivity and sensation seeking
behaviors can lead to alcohol and drug abuse
problem in the younger generation
Adolescence is a period of challenge for both parents and the individual him/herself. The temptations to experience new things in this age can often result in indulgence of substance use.
To prove this a study was conducted in which two groups were studied including both girls and boys. One of the groups was assessed as more prone to the risk as they had the history of their fathers with drug use disorder. Their self reported impulsivity and sensation seeking was compared with the youth with no history of no substance use in the family. Assessments started at ages 10-12, and continued for up to 42 months. Also, a subset of youths considered high risk who began using substances before age 15 were compared with youths considered high risk who did not initiate substance use before age 15.
The results showed that high-risk youths had greater impulsivity, which may make them less able to control sensation-seeking drives that lead to problem like alcohol and substance abuse. Furthermore, high-risk youths who were exposed early to drug use also had greater increases in sensation seeking across adolescence than high-risk youths who were not drug users, which may predict future substance use. In short, in youths with the family history of substance abuse, combination of greater impulsivity with adolescent sensation seeking may be an important underlying component of the risk associated with a family history of a substance use disorder. In these individuals, early substance use, which further increases impulsivity, is an additional contributor to the risk of developing a substance-use disorder.