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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 | Nickerson | Lucke | Ostrov | Godleski | Schuetze | Wieczorek
This study will examine developmental pathways to violence, victimization and substance use in adolescents exposed to high levels of community 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.
Barnes | Welte | Tidwell | Patterson | Spicer
This study will examine the effects of gambling availability and sociodemographic factors on gambling and 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.
Eiden | Colder | Homish | Schuetze | Molnar
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.
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.
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.
Livingston | Nickerson
Researchers and focus groups will evaluate videos developed to help parents talk to their young children about personal safety and sexual abuse.

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