When you’re young, your brain and body are in constant stages of change and development. This means what you do or take can really affect your growth in ways you wouldn’t imagine. It is actually normal for different functions of the brain to grow at different rates.
Teenagers are known to be impulsive, not always considering their actions. That’s because their brains are still adjusting and learning how even to do that. This is why a lot of experimenting with drug and alcohol use is common for teens.
Caring about fitting in is something teens do. This means they might try drugs or alcohol based on whether it can find them acceptance. This is just another example of how their brains have yet to fully mature.
The Teens Brain Development
The brain is doing its best to focus on growing up and working in more effective ways. This means it is constantly altering synapses or connections that it might deem not necessary. There are constant changes as a teen grows.
What Substance Abuse Can Do To The Brain
Engaging in healthy behavior is important for teenagers and young adults. That’s because decisions they make then can impair or change the growth of their brains. It can also stunt their growth as they get older.
Some effects on the brain include:
- Causing missed opportunities during a period of heightened learning potential
- Creating problems with memory
- Ingraining expectations of unhealthy habits into brain circuitry
- Inhibiting development of perceptual abilities
- Interfering with neurotransmitters and damaging connections within the brain
- Reducing the ability to experience pleasure
Alcohol Abuse And Teens
Alcohol dependence and addiction are actually far more likely for teens or young adults. This is because the brain responds way differently to alcohol than adult brains. This is not a good thing because binge drinking culture is very popular in teens and young adults.
Problems, which alcohol abuse can cause:
- Delayed puberty or adverse effects on the reproductive system
- Higher levels of liver enzymes that indicate liver damage
- Lower bone mineral density
- Shorter limbs and reduced growth potential
Basically, drug or alcohol use at a young age can severely affect the growth of teens. It can make them more prone to addiction, interrupt their growth, and cause their brain to develop specific problems. Teens should definitely be proactive about their health.