Higher pleasurable and rewarding effects could increase the risk of alcohol use disorder

A new study from researchers at the University of Chicago concluded that young adults with higher sensitivity to alcohol’s pleasurable and rewarding effects were at an increased risk of alcohol use disorder (AUD).

The study, released in the American Journal of Psychiatry, was conducted on a group of nearly 200 young adults over a span of 10 years.

By the tenth year, the assessment of their drinking behavior resulted in meeting the criteria for alcohol use disorder.

“At the end of the decade, 21% of participants met criteria for past-year AUD. Individuals who reported the greatest alcohol stimulation, liking, and wanting at the initial alcohol challenge were most likely to have developed AUD 10 years later,” the study reads.

“Further, alcohol-induced stimulation and wanting increased in reexamination testing among those with the highest AUD symptoms as the decade progressed,” the authors of the study also implied.

“Initial stimulant and rewarding effects of alcohol predicted heavy alcohol use, and the magnitude of these positive subjective effects increased over a 10-year period in those who developed AUD compared with those who did not develop the disorder.”

The findings aimed at adding clearer visibility as to how AUD develops and ways to construct more effective treatments for the disorder.

Image courtesy of Unsplash
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