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A new study from the State University of New York found that the offspring of rats given alcohol through their pregnant mothers were drawn to the smell of alcohol when they grew to adolescence.
The researchers gave pregnant rats, a diet supplemented with ethanol or water. They then tested their kids when they were adolescents and adults. Rats that had fetal exposure to alcohol were more likely to follow intoxicated peers and were more drawn to the smell of ethanol than their water-fed counterparts. This reinforces the fact that pre-natal exposure makes children more attracted to alcohol, increasing alcoholic tendencies in them when teenagers, with the effects sometimes lasting a lifetime.
Steven Youngentob, who led the study, said: “These results highlight an important relationship between fetal and adolescent experiences that appears essential to the progressive development of alcohol abuse.”
According to researchers, an expectant mother’s diet determines her unborn baby’s sense of smell. They believed that being exposed to alcohol in the womb trains the brain to make the smell of liquor more appealing. Although the experiment was on rats, the team believes, it has a clear relevance to human beings. The authors wrote that this is indicative of an innate survival skill in mammals, which allows them to be more attracted to the food sources that the mother consumes.
Babies exposed to alcoholic smells in the womb are twice as likely to become teenage drinkers. This is crucial because adolescence is the turning point when behavior patterns take shape and any most of the addictions begin in this stage. Earlier research had shown that a taste of alcohol before 15 years sharply increases the risk of becoming a heavy drinker, in a person.
Steven Youngentob cautioned that “Within the context of ‘at risk’ adolescents, prior exposure to (alcohol) may, among other things, worsen the consequences of alcohol-related social interaction by increasing teenagers’ propensity to engage in such settings.”
The study was published in the journal, Behavioral and Brain Functions.
The upcoming holiday season can be particularly stressful if you’ll be spending time with a loved one addicted to alcohol or other drugs. You might feel conflicted about family celebrations; holiday gatherings are supposed to be happy times, but yours don’t look like what you see on television. Should you ignore your loved one’s addiction….
Louisiana is known for its joie de vivre — its love of life. Unfortunately, for many, along with its many festivals, parties and good times also comes a love of alcohol. According to state statistics, the people of St. Landry Parish do more than their share of drinking. The parish currently ranks among the top….
Alcohol-related crime is much higher in communities where more people binge drink, and too many people binge drink in Inverell. That information has come from the initial findings of the Alcohol Action in Rural Communities (AARC) project. Close collaborations with members of the Inverell community and the AARC project have helped reveal that rural NSW….
Drug addiction is a disease plagued by chronic relapse and an array of serious side effects. When a family member or loved one is addicted, and you’ve tried to get them to seek help, an intervention may be the only safe, solid solution to the problem. Denial is often an interfering factor for those who….
At one time, Randy and Kim Cox had no idea they’d be dedicating their lives to a program like Rivers of Hope Ministries. They were missionaries based in Russia for 10 years before returning to the States, where they spent time both in Randy’s native Texas and Kim’s hometown of Prattville. In Russia, a country….