Essay On Drug And Alcohol Addiction Smoke Signals Essay

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.

The likelihood of developing a substance use disorder is greatest for those who begin use in their early teens.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.however, even experimenting with drugs is a problem.Drug use can be part of a pattern of risky behavior including unsafe sex, driving while intoxicated, or other hazardous, unsupervised activities.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).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.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.

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