This research project has three main research questions. (1) What is the importance of alcohol and drug use debut age for later development of drug problems? (2) What are the risk factors for later cannabis use and what are the consequences of this use? ( 3) What are the risk factors for later use and abuse of prescription drugs?
The study utilizes data from a large prospective study of adolescents and young adults that have been followed for 13 years, through 4 follow-ups, and with a high response rate . A large number of variables have been gathered at each time point, including their parents socioeconomic position, parental substance use, family relations, and rearing practices. The informants have been asked about socio economic status, sexual behavi ours, abortion, and social network. Questions regarding puberty, ego identity, gender role identification, smoking and nicotine dependence, alcohol consumption and problems, and the use of cannabis and other illegale drugs. We have also information on anx iety, depression, para suicide, eating disorder and use of health services. These data will be coupled with data from the Norwegian prescription database containing information on all prescriptions dispensed at Norwegian pharmacies from January 1st 2004. Both data within the longitudinal study and data from the coupling can be used as a unique source for a large volume of research questions difficult to address in other ways.