Dr Erin Cowley
Past research aimed at identifying social and psychological risk factors for substance use has relied heavily on self-reporting, and has been conducted relatively independently of research with a neurological or neuropsychological focus.
The neurological research on substance use has included the examination of the brain systems, which may act as mediators for reinforcing the effects of drugs; the measurement of brain-related activity in substance users while performing behavioural tasks; and the long term effects of substance use on the brain among chronic users.
This project investigates a significant number of already established risk factors, including personality, impulsivity, coping resources, motives for use, and affect, within a single clinical sample.
The findings indicate that there is no clear and simple relationship between risk factors, and the development of a Substance Use Disorder (SUD).