Teen Drug Abuse Essay

Submitted By Laura-Hinojosa
Words: 442
Pages: 2

Laura Hinojosa 6277427

Lecture Summary
Adolescents and drug abuse and addiction video

The teenage years are a time for experimentation and push towards independence. It is also a time when the brain goes through an intense growth and brain cells are dying, growing, and connecting. Mix these two drives together and the effects can easily turn a young teen looking for independence and experimentation into a drug or alcohol addict. Many street drugs can quickly cause addiction such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin. Although the effects of drug abuse on the brain are well known, it is unknown how many times a person must abuse a drug before becoming addicted. Genetic makeup and our environment play a large role in addiction. The feeling of something good happening like when you are praised for a job well done or you eating your favorite cookie is your limbic system at work. The limbic system has a need for these positive “feel good” sensations and drives the body to seek out things that will feed that drive. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that works in the limbic system to help control the brains reward and pleasure centers. It also aids in the regulation of movement and emotional responses. It enables us to see the reward and take action to move towards it. When a person abuses a drug for the first time they experience an unnatural intense feeling of pleasure. The brain is flooded with dopamine causing an immense feel of pleasure. The brain reacts to the high volume of dopamine by reducing the amount it naturally releases. Dopamine’s ability to activate circuits to cause pleasure are severely weakened. The person