ABC News reported on a study conducted by researchers at the University of Vermont on the impulse control of teenagers. Researchers believe that there are “pre-wired” impulse controls in teenagers before they are exposed to drugs and alcohol. Researchers conducted the study on 1,900 14-year-old teenagers using an MRI. The researchers measured each teen’s ability to perform repititive tasks and in the middle of the tasks, the researchers would ask them to stop. According to research notes, “people who abuse drugs or alcohol tend to perform poorly on this test.”
Teens who did not abuse drugs or alcohol or were exposed to them, and performed poorly on these tests, showed similar brain images to people who performed poorly on the tasks who also abused drugs and alcohol.
Dr. Robert Whelan, lead researcher of this study, believes that these tests can identify those teens who are at-risk for abusing drugs and alcohol before they are exposed to them.
The subjects also included teenagers who had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Findings also showed that people with ADHD “are at increase risk of substance abuse and alcoholism” (ABC News).
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