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Sensation seeking promotes initiation, impulsivity promotes escalation of substance use

(from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, May 16, 2016)

Young teens who avidly seek novel and intense sensations are slightly more likely than their more cautious peers to initiate substance use, NIDA-supported researchers report. However, these teens are not more likely to become regular substance users within the next 3 years unless they also are prone to devalue distant consequences and act impulsively.

Atika Khurana, PhD, at the University of Oregon, working with colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, formally assessed sensation seeking and two indicators of impulsivity in 382 children age 11 to 13 years.

The full story is available at the National Institute on Drug Abuse website.