Adolescence: A high-risk time for substance use disorders

Teens need to explore and challenge themselves to grow into independent adults, which sometimes involves taking risks. It can be a source of consternation and frustration for parents. But as it turns out, the adolescent brain is “deliberately” set up for risk-taking. The prefrontal cortex — the part of the brain involved in “executive functions” that support careful decision-making (like self-monitoring and impulse control) — does not fully develop until the mid-20s, long after the maturation of the emotional processing and reward-seeking centers in what is called the limbic system. This helps explain why teens seek out highly stimulating and rewarding activities while seeming less wary of potential risks. While these characteristics make adolescents excellent learners, they also make them vulnerable, particularly when it comes to substance use. Parents of adolescents face a tough dilemma about substance use: we may want our children to be abstinent, but what do we do if they are not? We know the stakes are high. The very features that make the adolescent brain good at learning from new experiences also make it vulnerable to loss of control over substance use, or addiction. Research suggests that people who start using substances at younger ages are more likely to develop substance use disorders later in life. (Medical professionals use “substance use disorder” as a more specific and less stigmatizing term for “addiction.&...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Addiction Adolescent health Behavioral Health Parenting Source Type: blogs

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Source: SafetyLit - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Tags: Alcohol and Other Drugs Source Type: news
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Source: eLife - Category: Biomedical Science Tags: Neuroscience Source Type: research
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Source: Current Addiction Reports - Category: Addiction Source Type: research
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Source: Cliffside Malibu - Category: Addiction Authors: Tags: Addiction Addiction Recovery Alcohol Rehab Information Current Events addiction treatment coronavirus covid covid-19 getting sober quarantine sobriety social distancing Source Type: blogs
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Source: SafetyLit - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Tags: Alcohol and Other Drugs Source Type: news
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Source: American Journal on Addictions - Category: Addiction Authors: Tags: Am J Addict Source Type: research
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Source: Trials - Category: Research Source Type: clinical trials
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Source: American Journal on Addictions - Category: Addiction Authors: Tags: Am J Addict Source Type: research
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