Different lengths of times for progressions in adolescent substance involvement

Ty A. Ridenour, Stephanie T. Lanza, Eric C. Donny, Duncan B. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


The present study examined Lengths Of Times for important transitions in substance involvement from Initiation to Regular use (LOTIR), first Problem from drug use (LOTIP), and first experience of Dependence (LOTID) for alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, cocaine, and opiates. Data were from a longitudinal study of 590 children (22.2% female) at different levels of risk for substance use disorders based on their fathers' substance use-related diagnoses. Participants' substance involvement was assessed at four ages: 10-12, and follow-ups at two, five, and eight years later. Results suggested that faster transitions were more due to drug-related constructs (including possible social milieus of different drug classes and interactions between drug class and neurophysiology) than intrapersonal constructs. The shortest transition times (and greatest addictive liabilities) were for opiates followed respectively by cocaine, cannabis, tobacco, and alcohol. Females had shorter transition times, though gender differences were small. Some evidence was found for a familial influence on transition times above what was accounted for by differences between substances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)962-983
Number of pages22
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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