What causes addiction? Scientists find out

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Scientists have linked adult’s later years behaviour and addiction to his childhood past with psychiatry records.

Scientists point out that if a person, as an infant, faced any kind of disorder, he/she is at a higher risk of addiction as an adult. Researchers demonstrated that individuals diagnosed in childhood with disorders like Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), Conduct disorder (CD) with antisocial behavioral pattern, Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to face depression in their adulthood along with an increased risk of being an addict.

For the study scientists re-analyzed data of 37 previous studies containing a total of 762,187 individuals, of whom 22,029 had ADHD, 434 had disruptive behavior disorders (such as ODD/CD), 1,433 had anxiety disorder, and 2,451 had depression.

Scientists say their findings show that not only ADHD increased the risk of addictions, but that other childhood psychiatric disorders also increased risk. The study points out the importance of early detection of mental health problems in a wider group. Addiction is a major cause of immense personal, familial, and societal burden, and prevention is therefore an important goal.

Professor Jaap Oosterlaan, principal investigator of the Child Study Group at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and the Emma Children’s Hospital AMC, the Netherlands, also said, “Now that we have firmly established children with psychiatric disorders as a high-risk group for later substance-related disorders, the next step is to make parents, clinicians, and the government aware of these risks and work together in reducing the risks for addiction and its debilitating consequences.”

Hence, an addiction in you too might have a relation to such disorders in childhood.

This study is published in the July 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP).

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