People with Certain Personality Traits are Less Likely to Mature Out of Hazardous Substance Use, Study Suggests

The typical rise and fall of alcohol and cannabis consumption from late adolescence into adulthood does not hold for people with certain personality traits, a new study suggests. Among individuals who used both alcohol and cannabis, those with high impulsivity as adolescents showed a different developmental trajectory from their peers, according to a study in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research — the first to assess co-use of the two substances well into adulthood. Alcohol and cannabis are the two most frequently used psychotropic drugs in the US. High use is associated with negative health outcomes, particularly when the two substances are used concurrently or simultaneously. Little is known about the developmental course of alcohol and cannabis co-use into adulthood and whether it is influenced by sensation seeking and reduced conscientiousness, markers of disinhibition associated with hazardous substance use. Researchers at Arizona State University explored whether those pe

Sleep Disruption Predicts Drinking and Cannabis use in Young People, with Middle and High School Students Potentially Most Vulnerable

A five-year study has highlighted the importance of healthy sleep patterns in relation to future binge-drinking and cannabis use in adolescence and young adulthood, as reported in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. The work builds on growing evidence that sleep characteristics are predictive of future substance use and related problems in young people, and could inform strategies for substance use prevention and intervention. Most previous studies assessed only a small range of sleep characteristics, and had limited follow-up. In the new analysis, researchers used six annual assessments from the National Consortium on Alcohol and Neurodevelopment in Adolescence (NCANDA) study to examine whether multiple sleep characteristics in any year predict alcohol and cannabis use the following year. Data from over eight hundred NCANDA study participants, aged 12 to 21 at baseline, were included.

Shifts in Impulsivity Linked to Changes in Alcohol Use — and Risky Drinking For Some

According to a new study, personality traits are associated with changes in alcohol use and problematic drinking, but these relationships may vary across the lifespan. The study explores alcohol consumption in the context of adult developmental stages. It suggests that changes in impulsivity and in the perceived rewards of alcohol are strongly related to changes in drinking behavior from ages 18-21, and to a lesser degree until at least age 35. Problematic drinking is known to be associated with impulsivity traits: a lack of planning (impulse control), sensation seeking, and the anticipated benefits from alcohol, such as sociability and making activities more enjoyable. Such traits evolve through adolescence and early adulthood. Understanding how shifting factors may elevate the risk to certain people at certain times potentially helps target interventions aimed at reducing heavy drinking and preventing alcohol use disorder (AUD). The study in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Rese