As their children grow to pre-teens and teens, parents worry about new risks they may experience. One such risk is the use of substances, such as alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, and other drugs. Substance use by teens can have a big impact on their health and well-being. The American Academy of Pediatrics AAP , through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC , developed a guide for implementing substance use screening in pediatric practices to help pediatricians address substance use concerns. The AAP recommends screening for substance use in children, starting at 9 years of age.
Introduction | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Many addictions develop from drug abuse that starts during adolescence. The teenage brain is still developing, increasing the risk of addiction. Treatment Center Locator. Teen drug abuse can have long-term cognitive and behavioral effects since the teenage brain is still developing. Recognition and prevention of drug use can end an emerging problem before it starts.
Trying drugs may fulfill all of these normal developmental drives, but in an unhealthy way that can have very serious long-term consequences. The family environment is also important: Violence, physical or emotional abuse, mental illness, or drug use in the household increase the likelihood an adolescent will use drugs. The adolescent brain is often likened to a car with a fully functioning gas pedal the reward system but weak brakes the prefrontal cortex. 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.
Many studies and surveys have found that a large percentage of people who abuse drugs and alcohol are teens still in high school. Many people become addicted to harmful substances at a young age which can continue into adulthood. A large percentage of people in recovery at drug and alcohol rehab centers consists of young adults. Abusing harmful substances such as heroin, cocaine and alcohol negatively affects both the physical and mental health of a teenager, and drug and alcohol abuse may lead to various other complications. Some of the ways drugs and alcohol abuse affect the life of a teenager or young adult can include the following….