Research Paper On Drugs

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.Many factors influence whether an adolescent tries drugs, including the availability of drugs within the neighborhood, community, and school and whether the adolescent’s friends are using them.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.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).however, even experimenting with drugs is a problem.

This reinforces behaviors that contribute to learning, health, well-being, and the strengthening of social bonds.Adolescents are “biologically wired” to seek new experiences and take risks, as well as to carve out their own identity.Trying drugs may fulfill all of these normal developmental drives, but in an unhealthy way that can have very serious long-term consequences.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.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.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.

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