Peer drug-use 'ups an individual's genetic tendency to use drugs'

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Washington, June 22 (ANI): A young woman's exposure to peers or friends who smoke or drink increases her own likelihood of substance use, according to a new research.

In a study of over 2,000 female twins, researchers from Washington University in St. Louis looked for links between two types of data: 1) women in the sample who regularly used tobacco, alcohol, or drugs and 2) women whose friends were involved in regular substance use.

The links they found showed that genetic vulnerability to regular use of alcohol, cigarettes and cannabis is exacerbated by exposure to friends who use alcohol, cigarettes and drugs.

Simply speaking, increasing affiliations with drug-using peers is correlated with a more 'genetic' form of regular substance use.

According to lead author Dr. Arpana Agrawal, "Nature and nurture don't just combine to produce a woman who smokes, drinks, or uses drugs - nurture can also increase the effect of nature."

The study is published in the academic journal Addiction. (ANI)

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