The Center for Education and Drug Abuse Research (CEDAR) conducts research on 775 families enrolled in the Center's prospective investigations into the etiology of substance use disorder (SUD). The pro-bands are men with lifetime presence/absence of SUD consequent to use of an illicit drug who have a 10-12 year old biological son or daughter. CEDAR has already shown that they can predict in 10-12 year old youth cannabis use disorder by age 22 with approximately 70 percent accuracy, thereby substantiating the paradigm, subject recruitment strategy, and measurement protocols. Multidisciplinary research is conducted on family members (father, mother, children) with the objective of elucidating the genetic, bio-behavioral, and environmental factors on development of SUD consequent to use of illegal drugs. Research protocols are organized into three thematically connected research modules (Neurogenetics, Developmental Psychopathology, and Translation) linking etiology and prevention. The research components thus align with the NIH Roadmap model such that basic science informs clinical research leading to prevention guided by an understanding of etiology. In addition to module-level research, faculty also participate in three organizational aims: (1) Devise a practical scale to quantify the transmissible liability to SUD; (2) Empirically test a bio-psychological theory of SUD etiology focusing on off-time maturation leading to psychological dysregulation predisposing to SUD; and, (3) Delineate SUD liability variants within an ontogenetic framework.
Three different samples were recruited for this study. First, an assessment of fathers of 10 to 12 year olds was conducted to determine their substance use disease (SUD). Children of fathers with SUD were recruited into the high risk group (N = 344), children of fathers without SUD were recruited into the low risk group (N = 350). An additional 81 children of fathers with psychiatric disorders but not SUD were recruited as a third group.