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Impulsivity in children with family history of alcoholism can help spot AUD risk

04-04 | By CSAA Team

Impulsivity in children with family history of alcoholism can help spot AUD risk

Children with one or both the parents dependent on alcohol face a lot of pain and trouble. Parents’ drinking problems can lead to child neglect and their physical and mental abuse. Such children often lead a disturbed life as the addictive habit of parents often affect the psychological growth of the children.

Looking at the growing problem of alcohol use disorder (AUD) in the United States, one needs to zero in on the factors responsible for reckless drinking habit among Americans. While genetic and environmental factors do contribute to the drinking behavior among people, a group of researchers recently suggested that such aggravated susceptibility might also be due to their impetuous nature.

Children with parents dependent on alcohol might develop AUDs

The authors of the study, titled “Heightened Impulsivity: Associated with Family History of Alcohol Misuse, and a Consequence of Alcohol Intake,” aimed to understand drinking behavior in both moderate and heavy drinkers with family history positive (FHP) or negative (FHN) for alcoholism. The impulsivity was tested after an alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink. For the research published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research in August 2016, social drinkers, consisting of 34 women and 30 men aged between 18 and 33 years, were given either alcohol or a placebo as part of the control group.

The respondents belonging to the FHP category had primary relatives with alcohol use problems, whereas those belonging to the FHN group did not have primary relatives with alcohol use problems. The participants were required to complete four variants of the Sx-5CSRTT, a task employed to measure waiting impulsive behavior. Apart from this, other kinds of impulsive behavior were also tested by using the stop-signal task (SST), information sampling task (IST), delay discounting questionnaire, 2-choice impulsivity paradigm and time estimation task.

While testing the respondents for attentional load, the scientists found that those classified in the FHP group exhibited increased waiting degree of impulsivity compared to FHN drinkers. However, those classified in the FHP group manifested less impulsivity during the Information Sampling Task. All the respondents portrayed alcohol-impaired inhibitory control on the Stop Signal Reaction Time test. Based on the observations, the scientists evaluated increased impulsive behavior that may help pinpoint children of alcoholics with higher probability of developing dependence on alcohol. Thus, impulsivity can be responsible for various destructive habits like gambling, abusive behavior, stealing and substance abuse.

Need to provide timely treatment to all

Constant consumption of alcohol or drinking in excess at one go can cause adverse effects, including development of behavior akin to AUDs. According to a study titled “Epidemiology of DSM-5 Alcohol Use Disorder: Results From the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions III,” roughly 14 percent adult Americans have alcohol-related problems. The research published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry in August 2015 also indicated that many respondents of the study did not have the necessary access to treatment.

Children can be taught in school to control their impulses as this would also help them keep off addictive substances, including alcohol. It is difficult to get rid of alcohol addiction, particularly if the abuse has been continuing for a prolonged period. However, timely treatment can help in complete recovery.

If you or your loved one is suffering from substance abuse problem, including dependence on alcohol, get in touch with the Colorado Substance Abuse Advisors to connect to one of the best substance abuse treatment programs in Colorado. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-300-5857 or chat online for more information on the substance abuse rehabilitation centers in Colorado.


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