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Sullivan RM, Wade NE, Wallace AL, Tapert SF, Pelham WE, Brown SA, Cloak CC, Feldstein Ewing SW, Madden PAF, Martz ME, Ross JM, Kaiver CM, Wirtz HG, Heitzeg MM, Lisdahl KM. Drug Alcohol Depend. Rep. 2022; 5: e100120.


(Copyright © 2022, Elsevier Publishing)








BACKGROUND: Though largely substance-naïve at enrollment, a proportion of the youth in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study are expected to initiate substance use (SU) as they transition into later adolescence. With annual data from youth 9-13 years-old, this study aims to describe their SU patterns over time. Here, prevalence rates of use are reported, along with predicted odds of use while analyzing common risk-factors associated with youth SU.

METHODS: The ABCD Study(®) enrolled 11,876 participants at Baseline (ages 9-10) and has followed them annually. Data through half of the third follow-up visit are available (ages 12-13; n = 6,251). SU descriptives for al psychoactive substances over time are outlined. General estimating equations (GEEs) assessed whether sociodemographic factors, internalizing and externalizing symptoms, and parental SU problems were associated with SU between Baseline and Y2 follow-up.

RESULTS: Across time, alcohol and nicotine remain the most used substances. Yearly rates of any SU increased (past year use: 13.9% in Y1; 14% Y2, 18.4% Y3). Cumulatively, by Y3, 39.7% of the cohort reported experimenting (e.g., sipping alcohol) with SU within their lifetime, while 7.4% reported a "full use" (a full alcohol drink, nicotine use, cannabis use, or any other SU) in their lifetime (past-year: 1.9% alcohol, 2.1% nicotine, 1.1% cannabis, 1.2% other substances). GEEs revealed ongoing longitudinal associations between sociodemographic factors, greater externalizing symptoms, and parental drug problems with increased odds of initiating SU.

CONCLUSIONS: As ABCD participants transition into their teenage years, the cohort is initiating SU at increasing (though still low) rates.

Language: en


Children; Adolescence; ABCD study; Alcohol sipping; Substance initiation; Substance use


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