Stress in childhood associated with earlier drug use in teens: Study

Lead researcher Alexandra Donovan said that starting substance use at an earlier age is associated with more severe substance use disorder in adulthood
Stress during childhood is linked with earlier substance use in male and female adolescents
Stress during childhood is linked with earlier substance use in male and female adolescentsEdexLive Desk

Today, Saturday, June 1, a new study stated that stress during childhood is linked with earlier substance use in male and female adolescents. This was stated in a report by IANS.

According to the study presented at ENDO 2024, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in Boston, United States of America (USA or US) traumatic events may increase substance use risk for males, while environmental stress and early puberty may increase the risk for females.

Lead researcher Alexandra Donovan said that starting substance use at an earlier age is associated with more severe substance use disorder in adulthood.

“Early life stress and early puberty have both been associated with early substance use, but it wasn’t clear whether these connections are the same across boys and girls,” said Donovan from Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles, California.

Donovan and colleagues evaluated sex differences in the impact of puberty and stress on alcohol, nicotine and cannabis use by age 13.

They analysed data from 8,608 male and female participants in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, who were nine or ten years old when the study began.

“Our study supports the link between early life stress and teen substance use, extending our understanding of how this connection can differ across sex,” Donovan said.

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