Adolescence: When drinking and genetics may collide

Many negative effects of drinking, such as transitioning into heavy alcohol use, often take place during adolescence and can contribute to long-term negative health outcomes as well as the development of alcohol use disorders. A new study of adolescent drinking and its genetic and environmental influences has found that different trajectories of adolescent drinking are preceded by discernible gene-parenting interactions, specifically, the mu-opioid receptor (OPRM1) genotype and parental-rule-setting.

“Heavy drinking in adolescence can lead to alcohol-related problems and alcohol dependence later in life,” said Carmen Van der Zwaluw, an assistant professor at Radboud University Nijmegen as well as corresponding author for the study. “It has been estimated that 40 percent of adult alcoholics were already heavy drinkers during adolescence. Thus, tackling heavy drinking in adolescence may prevent later alcohol-related problems.”

Read the full, original story here: Adolescence: When Drinking And Genes May Collide

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