Epidemiology of Substance Abuse

This department investigates the natural history of involvement in drugs, the risk factors and consequences of drug abuse in a lifespan perspective, and the comorbidity of substance abuse with problem behaviors and psychiatric disorders in adolescence and adulthood. A newly initiated area of investigation includes the use of mouse models to explore the molecular basis of epidemiological paradigms. Epidemiological investigations are carried out on longitudinal cohorts and on secondary analysis of national data sets.

Current research activities focus on five areas:

  1. the epidemiology of adolescent smoking;
  2. the Gateway Hypothesis of drug involvement;
  3. the inter-generational effects of parental drug use on child drug behavior and development;
  4. epidemiology of non-medical prescription drug use;
  5. epidemiology of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Head of Research Division

Denise Kandel, PhD, Chief