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Pathways to Substance Use, Abuse and Addiction


Our researchers study the many factors that can lead to addiction, including prenatal exposure to alcohol, tobacco or other drugs, social/cultural influences, family dynamics and personality types.

Research on pathways to substance use, abuse and addiction ranges from studies of the prevalence of and risk factors for prescription drug use, alcohol/energy drink misuse, and other addictive behaviors such as gambling; to prenatal exposure to substances and postnatal environment on the development of problem behavior and substance use; to intimate partner behaviors in the development of and recovery from alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse.

Current pathways to substance use and abuse projects underway at RIA include:

Eiden | Colder | Homish | Schuetze
This study is investigating the impact of prenatal and postnatal exposure to cigarette smoke and associated environmental risks on the development of children’s physiological, emotional and behavioral regulation, reactivity to stress, and social competence from birth to kindergarten age.
Eiden | Colder | Schuetze
This study will examine the impact of prenatal exposure to cocaine and other substances and associated environmental risks on the development of children’s ability to regulate physiology and behavior in response to stress from birth to middle childhood and social competence in the school setting.
Livingston | Miller | Testa | Derrick | Lucke | Nickerson
This research will examine the conditions under which bullying and sexual harassment among teens may contribute to emotional distress and the development of substance use.
Livingston | Eiden | Leonard
Researchers will explore the effect of early childhood risks, such as parental alcoholism, on teens’ involvement with dating violence.
Parks | Darrow | Hequembourg | Lisman | Muraven
Researchers will study non-medical prescription drug use among college students and assess what types of drugs are being used, why they are being used and the consequences.
This research examines the daily influence of both desires to use and desires to not use alcohol on drinking behaviors and how these processes change over the course of recovery.
Welte | Barnes | Wieczorek
Data from this survey will be compared to a 2000 survey to analyze trends in gambling in the U.S. over the past decade.
Barnes | Welte | Tidwell | Patterson | Spicer
Using national telephone survey data, this study will examine the effects of gambling availability and sociodemographic factors on the frequency of gambling and co-occurring alcohol abuse among Native Americans in the U.S.
Eiden | Leonard | Colder
Researchers will study the impact of early childhood risk and protection and parents’ alcohol problems on underage drinking and substance use in a prospective study spanning infancy to adolescence in order to help develop early interventions to address the issue.

RIA Researchers Investigating the Pathways to Substance Use, Abuse and Addiction