6 percent to 0.3 percent, and the use of LSD declined from 1.1 percent to 0.7 percent. Martin et al (2002) found that sensation seeking is a factor often associated with drug use in early and middle adolescence (1492). They found that this was higher in males and females who reported nicotine and alcohol use and in males who reported marijuana use. Sensation seeking was positively associated with pubertal development in males and females, and mediated the relationship of pubertal development and drug use in both males and females. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) issued a report derived from the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse which showed that in the early 1990s, substance abuse among young girls between the ages of 10 and 14 increased significantly (Ginther, 2002). Among girls reporting their first use of marijuana, 24 percent fell into this age group, as did 31 percent of girls reporting alcohol use. Similar rates were found for the use of alcohol, cigarettes, and illicit drugs among girls aged 12 to 17, and a significantly higher percentage of both males and females reported using psychotherapeutic drugs such as painkillers, tranquillizers, sedatives, and stimulants.
Genetic factors have been found to play a significant role in addiction (Nestler, 2002). For instance, alcohol abuse has been found o run in families with an estimated risk for this disorder being genetic of between 40 percent and 60 percent. Similar rates of a genetic cause have been found for other drug addictions such as the opiates and cocaine. The only definite gene identification so far has been in a certain East Asian population in which there is a defect in the alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme that metabolizes alcohol. This defect dramatically increases the side effects of acute alcohol intake, and reduces the individual's vulnerability to alcoholism.
The difficulty in finding the exact genes responsib...
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