Study 22 – Exploring the Genetic Basis for Drug Use

Investigator:  Hallam Hurt, M.D.

Release Date:  Closed

Abstract:  This protocol will begin a long-term project to study characteristics that are associated with drug use by adolescents and young adults.  Early drug use is known be related to a number of factors, both environmental and genetic.  Environmental factors include how carefully parents or caregivers monitor children’s activities, and whether the children’s friends are using drugs.  Genetic factors involve genes that are inherited from parents and that may influence whether an individual tries or continues to use drugs.  At present, very little is known about the genes that may increase or decrease the risks of using drugs.  The purpose of this pilot project is to collect blood samples on individuals currently participating in a long-term project on the effects of in utero exposure to cocaine on child outcome. We will collect blood on children, their biologic parents, and their full siblings, from families with and without a history of drug use. The blood will be submitted to the Rutgers University Cell and Tissue Repository, which is sponsored by National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and we will now refer to as NIDA Center for Genetic Studies (CGS). We will also collect demographic data and ask the subjects to complete a semi-structured interview on each person that submits a blood sample.  In the future, we will apply for funding to look for changes in specific genes that may be important in the susceptibility for drug use.

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