Research Paper On Drugs

Research Paper On Drugs-27
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.

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The immature brain, already struggling with balancing impulse and self-control, is more likely to take drugs again without adequately considering the consequences.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).By the time they are seniors, almost 70 percent of high school students will have tried alcohol, half will have taken an illegal drug, nearly 40 percent will have smoked a cigarette, and more than 20 percent will have used a prescription drug for a nonmedical purpose.There are many reasons adolescents use these substances, including the desire for new experiences, an attempt to deal with problems or perform better in school, and simple peer pressure.Exposure to stress (such as emotional or physical abuse) in childhood primes the brain to be sensitive to stress and seek relief from it throughout life; this greatly increases the likelihood of subsequent drug abuse and of starting drug use early.In fact, certain traits that put a person at risk for drug use, such as being impulsive or aggressive, manifest well before the first episode of drug use and may be addressed by prevention interventions during childhood.By the same token, a range of factors, such as parenting that is nurturing or a healthy school environment, may encourage healthy development and thereby lessen the risk of later drug use.Drug use at an early age is an important predictor of development of a substance use disorder later.Mature brain regions at each developmental stage are indicated in blue.The prefrontal cortex (red circles), which governs judgment and self-control, is the last part of the brain to mature.

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