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Study: Parental drug use may pass to children

We often emphasize on this blog how important parents are when it comes to influencing their child’s behavior. A new study gives more power to that assertion, suggesting that children of parents who have used marijuana may be more likely to develop a drug addiction and/or engage in risky or compulsive behavior later in life.

“Our study emphasizes that cannabis [marijuana] affects not just those exposed, but has adverse affects on future generations,” said Dr. Yasmin Hurd, the study’s senior author and professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Finding increased vulnerability to drug addiction and compulsive behavior in generations not directly exposed is an important consideration for legislators considering legalizing marijuana.”

To reach their findings, Dr. Hurd and her colleagues studied the drug habits of mice by exposing them to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) –  the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana – and then mating them. The offspring of these THC-exposed mice worked harder to self-administer heroin than the mice with non-drug-exposed parents.

Many past studies have been conducted  to measure how marijuana can affect the user, but this is one of the first that explores multigenerational drug exposure. According to Hurd, future studies are now in the works to determine if the effects of THC can be passed to grandchildren or even great-grandchildren. Findings from these studies could influence how substance abuse is treated  within families.

If suspect that your teen has a drug or alcohol problem, don’t wait any longer to seek treatment. Contact Intervention Services today to learn how our youth intervention services could help your child.

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