This affects their ability to weigh risks accurately and make sound decisions, including decisions about using drugs.
This affects their ability to weigh risks accurately and make sound decisions, including decisions about using drugs.For these reasons, adolescents are a major target for prevention messages promoting healthy, drug-free behavior and giving young people encouragement and skills to avoid the temptations of experimenting with drugs.Tags: Uw Creative Writing500 Word Essay On RespectTop 10 Business PlanCite My Essay MeEssays On Artificial Language DesignHomework QuestionHistory Honors Thesis UclaBlood Brothers Review Gcse Coursework
Finally, an adolescent’s inherited genetic vulnerability; personality traits like poor impulse control or a high need for excitement; mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, or ADHD; and beliefs such as that drugs are “cool” or harmless make it more likely that an adolescent will use drugs.
Images of Brain Development in Healthy Children and Teens (Ages 5-20) The brain continues to develop through early adulthood.
What remains incompletely developed during the teen years are the prefrontal cortex and its connections to other brain regions.
The prefrontal cortex is responsible for assessing situations, making sound decisions, and controlling our emotions and impulses; typically this circuitry is not mature until a person is in his or her mid-20s (see figure).
And in cases when a teen does develop a pattern of repeated use, it can pose serious social and health risks, including: in brain circuits that control reward and pleasure.
The brain is wired to encourage life-sustaining and healthy activities through the release of dopamine.This creates an especially strong drive to repeat the experience.The immature brain, already struggling with balancing impulse and self-control, is more likely to take drugs again without adequately considering the consequences.The development of addiction is like a vicious cycle: Chronic drug use not only realigns a person’s priorities but also may alter key brain areas necessary for judgment and self-control, further reducing the individual’s ability to control or stop their drug use.This is why, despite popular belief, willpower alone is often insufficient to overcome an addiction.The adolescent brain is often likened to a car with a fully functioning gas pedal (the reward system) but weak brakes (the prefrontal cortex).Teenagers are highly motivated to pursue pleasurable rewards and avoid pain, but their judgment and decision-making skills are still limited.The teenage years are a critical window of vulnerability to substance use disorders, because the brain is still developing and malleable (a property known as neuroplasticity), and some brain areas are less mature than others.The parts of the brain that process feelings of reward and pain—crucial drivers of drug use—are the first to mature during childhood.Everyday rewards during adolescence—such as hanging out with friends, listening to music, playing sports, and all the other highly motivating experiences for teenagers—cause the release of this chemical in moderate amounts.This reinforces behaviors that contribute to learning, health, well-being, and the strengthening of social bonds.