May 12, 2006
Drug use can damage the brain and lead to addiction
In adults, genetics are more than 50 percent responsible for addiction to alcohol. But new brain-imaging studies have shown that the teenage brain is a rapidly-changing organ and doesn't work the way an adult does. When teen's pleasured-chemical systems are not fully developed and they get wired to depend on substances for feeling good, the normal flow of brain chemicals that aid in learning, decision making and other key processes are often blocked. Drugs and alcohol can disrupt that massive renovation of the brain during adolescence, making it more vulnerable to drugs and easier for teens to get addicted.
Nearly half of kids who are regular drinkers before age 14 will become alcoholic. That puts early drinkers at three times greater risk of alcohol addiction than perople who wait until age 21 to start drinking. Once teens start to drink or use drugs, the consequences turn severe. Recent studies show that teens who start using marijuana before they turn 17 are at higher risk of developing schizophrenia than people who didn't use or started smoking marijuana later in adolescence or young adulthood.
Parental monitoring is one of the most consistent predictors of whether teens start using alcohol and other drugs. That means more than just having a good relationship with your kids. It means knowing where your children are, who they are with, and what they are doing. Children with higher levels of parental monitoring are less likely to start drinking or using drugs. Join Parent Corps today and learn how you can be a positive role model in your child's life. Contact email@example.com to receive a membership form.
Posted by Pat Giuliani at May 12, 2006 5:15 PM