To make an appointment call us at:
Tomball Office:       281-290-8188
South Loop Office: 713-808-9781
Bryan Office:         979-383-2074
Lufkin Office:        936-229-3621

Defiant Children at an Increased Risk for Substance Abuse


Oppositional Behaviors during childhood are linked to substance abuse in early adulthood according to a recent study published by the University of Montreal. Inattention in childhood is also linked to nicotine dependence.

The population-based study looked at 1803 children between the ages of 6 to 12 years. They were assessed yearly by parents and teachers. Researchers found that 13.4% of the subjects were abusing or addicted to alcohol by the age of 21.  In addition, by that age, 9.1% were abusing cannabis and 2.0% were abusing cocaine.

The study was published earlier this summer in Molecular Psychiatry.

Interestingly, hyperactivity was not a significant player in any of the disorders studied. In contrast, frequent oppositional behaviors in elementary school were the most pervasive predictors of substance abuse or dependence in early adulthood.

The findings indicate that more attention needs to be given by physicians and clinicians when addressing childhood behavioral problems.  Children with high inattention or high opposition should be carefully assessed for potential substance abuse issues as well as target them for preventative measures that could offset substance abuse at a later age.

Mol Psychiatry. Published online June 26, 2012. Abstract

To make an appointment call us at:
Tomball Office:      281-290-8188
South Loop Office: 713-808-9781
Bryan Office:          979-383-2074
Lufkin Office:         936-229-3621