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Study: Mother's Use Of Marijuana Could Affect Kids' Drug Use

This article is more than 7 years old.

A mother's use of marijuana — even long before she has children — could affect her kids' drug use, according to a new study from Tufts University researchers.

The study found that when adolescent female rats were exposed to the active ingredient in marijuana, their offspring were more likely to abuse drugs.

One of the study's authors, Elizabeth Byrnes, an associate professor at Tufts' Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, said the study proves that some drugs have long-term repercussions.

"You really can't assume that exposure to drugs prior to pregnancy doesn't have long-term effects on the next generation," she said. "These things seem to cause some persistent effects."

But Byrnes said it's too early to establish a connection between adolescent drug use and possible effects on future children.

This program aired on June 5, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

Deborah Becker Twitter Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.

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