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Impulsivity levels help identify risk of drinking among alcoholic’s children

Alcoholism is a major problem among Americans. Many reasons contribute to drinking habit among the youth, one of the reasons being family history of alcoholism. Having parents or elders in the family who are dependent on alcohol aggravates the risk of drinking in the younger generation.

A group of researchers recently aimed to analyze “waiting” impulsivity, i.e., susceptibility toward responding to reward ahead of time. The scientists associated such vulnerability as a major sign of likelihood to adopt drinking habit.

For the study, titled “Heightened Impulsivity: Associated with Family History of Alcohol Misuse, and a Consequence of Alcohol Intake,” the scientists examined young, social drinkers with either moderate or heavy drinking habit. These respondents either had or did not have a family history of alcoholism. Their extent of impetuousness was analyzed after giving them an alcoholic or a non-alcoholic drink.

Assessing predisposition to drinking habits

As part of the study, published online in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research in August 2016, two groups of young male and female drinkers were examined. A total of 34 women and 30 men aged between 18 and 33 years were given alcohol and compared with those of a control group. A total of 24 participants with family histories of problems linked to drinking behavior exhibited problems related to alcohol misuse, while 40 respondents with no family history of drinking problems manifested no such signs.

The participants were made to complete four variants of the Five-Choice Serial Reaction Time Task, which is used to measure impulsive behavior. Other forms of impulsive behavior were also tested by making use of the Stop Signal Reaction Time, Information Sampling Task, Delay Discounting Questionnaire, Two-Choice Impulsivity Paradigm and Time Estimation.

A detailed analysis of those who tested positive for a family history of alcoholism showed increased waiting impulsivity levels when contrasted with those who tested negative for a family history of alcoholism while they were being tested for attentional load.

Those with positive family history of alcoholism exhibited reduced impulsive behavior on the Information Sampling Task. However, all the respondents manifested inhibitory control impaired due to drinking habits on the Stop Signal Reaction Time test.

The observations of the study are important considering that detailed analysis of those with increased waiting impulsivity may help pinpoint those children of alcoholics with increased risk of getting addicted to alcohol.

Getting treatment for alcohol addiction

Despite its addictive properties, alcohol is easily available and its use is not deemed illegal. Among a host of reasons, such as socio-economic conditions and peer pressure, easy availability of liquor also contribute to alcoholism. Alcohol is one of the most common addictive substances abused by the people of America.

In fact, the increasing number of deaths and related incidents attributed to alcohol use each year in the country only point at the vacillating response of the American youth towards its intoxicating effects. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 30,700 Americans had lost their lives due to their drinking habits in 2014 alone.

The fact that dependence on alcohol is a reason for distress among family, friends and relationships makes it imperative for addicts to seek the necessary therapeutic interventions for alcohol addiction. If you or your loved one is addicted to any substance, including alcohol, get in touch with the 24/7 Recovery Helpline for information on the best drug rehab centers in America. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-441-4405 or chat online for expert advice on various drug abuse treatment centers.

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