~ By Colette
“Research now suggests that the human brain is still maturing during the adolescent years and this neuro-development may promote risk-taking and novelty seeking,” writes Ken Winters and Amelia Arria in their article “Adolescent Brain Development and Drugs” (The Prevention Researcher, Vol 18(2)). They go on to tell us that “risk-taking behaviors once highly linked to survival value may now increase chances for harmful circumstances, including drug use and related drug problems.”
And while the maturing brain may promote risk-taking – including drug use – that drug use, in turn, may impact the brain. Drs. Winters and Arria write that, “early drug use may alter brain maturation, contribute to lasting cognitive impairment of certain functions, and significantly increase short- and long-term susceptibility for developing a substance abuse.”
To explore how this new science may be put to use in our own prevention and intervention efforts, access this feature article, now available for free for a limited time. Click here.