Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Traumatic childhood may increase the risk of drug addiction

Date:
August 31, 2012
Source:
University of Cambridge
Summary:
Previous research has shown that personality traits such as impulsivity or compulsiveness are indicators of an increased risk of addiction. Now, new research suggests that these impulsive and compulsive personality traits are also associated with a traumatic upbringing during childhood.

Previous research has shown that personality traits such as impulsivity or compulsiveness are indicators of an increased risk of addiction. Now, new research from the University of Cambridge suggests that these impulsive and compulsive personality traits are also associated with a traumatic upbringing during childhood. The study was published August 31, in the journal American Journal Psychiatry.

Led by Dr Karen Ersche, the Cambridge researchers aimed to identify risk factors that make a person vulnerable to developing drug dependence. They examined 50 adults with cocaine dependence together with their biological brothers and sisters who have never abused drugs. All participants underwent extensive assessments of their personalities, including their ways of feeling and thinking. The researchers were also interested in negative experiences that participants may have had during childhood (to include physical, emotional or sexual abuse).

Dr Ersche, of the Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute (BCNI) at the University of Cambridge, said: "It has long been known that abusive experiences during childhood have long-lasting effects on behaviour in adulthood and this was confirmed by our results. The siblings had more troubled childhoods compared to healthy peers in the community, and we also found a direct relationship between traumatic childhoods and their personalities."

She added: "This relationship is interesting because impulsive personality traits are known to increase the risk of becoming addicted to drugs but it is not an excuse for drug-taking."

The childhoods of the brothers and sisters of the cocaine-dependent individuals were also traumatic, and they also exhibited higher-than-normal levels of impulsive and compulsive behaviours, but they did not abuse drugs.

The researchers next intend to explore how the siblings who do not abuse drugs managed to deal with their traumatic childhoods and their highly impulsive and compulsive personalities. The scientists want to understand what makes the siblings resilient against addiction. A better understanding of what protected the brothers and sisters from drug abuse may provide vital clues for developing more effective therapeutic interventions for those trying to beat their addiction.

Dr Ersche added: "Not all individuals with these personality traits would have had a traumatic upbringing. Nor does everyone with these traits develop an addiction. However, our findings show that some people are particularly at risk and their upbringing may have contributed to it."

The study was funded by the Medical Research Council and conducted within the Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute at the University of Cambridge, which is co-funded by the MRC and the Wellcome Trust.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Cambridge. The original story is licensed under a Creative Commons license. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Cambridge. "Traumatic childhood may increase the risk of drug addiction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120831083402.htm>.
University of Cambridge. (2012, August 31). Traumatic childhood may increase the risk of drug addiction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120831083402.htm
University of Cambridge. "Traumatic childhood may increase the risk of drug addiction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120831083402.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) It’s an unusual condition with a colorful name. Kids with “Alice in Wonderland” syndrome see sudden distortions in objects they’re looking at or their own bodies appear to change size, a lot like the main character in the Lewis Carroll story. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Scientists have long called choline a “brain booster” essential for human development. Not only does it aid in memory and learning, researchers now believe choline could help prevent mental illness. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive brain cancer in humans. Now a new treatment using the patient’s own tumor could help slow down its progression and help patients live longer. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins