A new study suggests adults who were victims of sexual and/or physical abuse in childhood, or who witnessed chronic parental violence, are at greatly increased risk of substance use.
Researchers from the University of Toronto found one in five drug-dependent adults and one in six alcohol-dependent adults had experienced childhood sexual abuse, compared with one in 19 in the general population of Canada, PsychCentral reports.
One in seven adults who were dependent on drugs or alcohol had been exposed to chronic parental domestic violence, compared with one in 25 in the general population, the researchers report in Substance Use & Misuse.
Parental violence was considered chronic if it occurred at least 11 times before the child turned 16, the article notes.
“We were surprised that chronic parental domestic violence exposure remained significantly associated with both drug and alcohol dependence, even when we adjusted for childhood maltreatment, depression and most of the...
NIH releases summary of research on early childhood risk and protective factors
An online guide about interventions in early childhood that can help prevent drug use and other unhealthy behaviors was launched by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health.
The guide offers research-based principles that affect a child’s self-control and overall mental health, starting during pregnancy through the eighth year of life. It recognizes that while substance use generally begins during the teen years, it has known biological, psychological, social, and environmental roots that begin even before birth.
“Thanks to more than three decades of research into what makes a young child able to cope with life’s inevitable stresses, we now have unique opportunities to intervene very early in life to prevent substance use disorders,” said NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D. “We now know that early intervention can set the stage for...