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Psychopharmacology

, Volume 231, Issue 8, pp 1715–1729 | Cite as

On the interaction between drugs of abuse and adolescent social behavior

  • Viviana Trezza
  • Petra J. J. Baarendse
  • Louk J. M. J. Vanderschuren
Review

Abstract

Rationale

Social factors influence drug abuse. Conversely, drugs of abuse alter social behavior. This is especially pertinent during post-weaning development, when there are profound changes in the social repertoire, and the sensitivity to the positive and negative effects of drugs of abuse is altered.

Objectives

This study aimed to provide an overview of our current understanding of the interaction between drugs of abuse and juvenile/adolescent social behavior.

Methods

We first provide evidence that a characteristic form of juvenile and adolescent social behavior, i.e., social play behavior, has reinforcing properties and is affected by drugs of abuse. Next, social risk factors for drug use and addiction are described, including antisocial personality traits and early social insults. Last, we discuss research that investigates social influences on drug use, as well as the consequences of perinatal drug exposure on later social interactions.

Results

Social play behavior is highly rewarding in laboratory animals, and it is affected by low doses of opioids, cannabinoids, ethanol, nicotine, and psychostimulants. In humans, antisocial personality traits, most prominently in the form of conduct disorder, are a prominent risk factor for drug addiction. Preclinical studies have consistently shown altered sensitivity to drugs as a result of social isolation during post-weaning development. The social environment of an individual has a profound, but complex, influence on drug use, and perinatal drug exposure markedly alters later social interactions.

Conclusions

The studies reviewed here provide a framework to understand the interaction between drugs of abuse and adolescent social interaction, at the preclinical and the clinical level.

Keywords

Social behavior Drug addiction Adolescence Reward Risk factors Antisocial personality disorder 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Supported by National Institute on Drug Abuse Grant R01 DA022628 (L.J.M.J.V.).

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Viviana Trezza
    • 1
  • Petra J. J. Baarendse
    • 2
  • Louk J. M. J. Vanderschuren
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Science, Section of Biomedical Science and TechnologiesUniversity “Roma Tre”RomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Translational Neuroscience, Brain Center Rudolf MagnusUniversity Medical Center UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Animals in Science and Society, Division of Behavioural Neuroscience, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

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