Research Shows Adolescents Get Addicted to Drugs Faster Than Adults
Date:  03-09-2015

Understanding a teen’s brain can create better addiction prevention strategies
The more we know about what encourages people to engage in high-risk behaviors the more we can design prevention strategies to help curb such potentially destructive actions. An article that appeared in Psych Center provides information that can be useful in preventing young people from becoming criminal justice system-involved.

Teenage Brain on Drugs


One way to look at addiction is to consider it a form of learning, a type of learning that is extremely effective in its ability to affect the adolescent brain, report researchers working under an NIH grant. The maturation process of the brain may cause teens and young adults to become addicted faster than older adults, because the impulse control centers of the brain are not fully developed in the younger cohort.

Drugs not only interfere with the normal processing functions of the brain, they actually change both the structure and function of the brain. Over time, drug use and abuse can lead to addiction with all its negative, life-long consequences. Neuroscientists have reported for years that the human brain is not fully mature until around the age of twenty-five. Further, the research being conducted on brain development at several academic institutions suggests that the maturing brain may be at particular risk and highly vulnerable to both the short term and long term use and abuse of drugs. There is no question that substance use during the teen years significantly increases the chance of developing a substance abuse problem later in life.

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