Teen Drug Abuse Research Paper

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According to Timothy Wilens MD, there is “data indicating that 1 in 10 adolescents has a SUD [substance use disorder] . . . Roughly 80% experienced onset before age 25 years” (Wilens). With this large number of teens abusing drugs, the question of what the effects and consequences of drug abuse as a teen are becomes relevant. Specifically, identifying what the effects and consequences of teen drug abuse are through a scientific lense is important because drugs affect the body, brain, and its chemical balances.
Drug abuse is a very specific term. It is not the same thing as drug use or drug addiction. It is important to understand what drug abuse is to be able to assess the effects and consequences of it accurately. The National Institute on
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According to a study done at the University of Washington, “ For the developing young adult, drug and alcohol abuse undermines motivation, interferes with cognitive processes, contributes to debilitating mood disorders, and increases risk of accidental injury or death” (Hawkins). When teens abuse drugs, they can damage their brains. This can affect everything from emotions, to memory. The abuse of drugs as a teen can also lead to accidental death, particularly involving overdoses and car accidents. Also, according to Addiction Center, an information center about drug use, abuse, and addiction, “Substance abuse affects teen brain development by: interfering with neurotransmitters and damaging connections within the brain, reducing the ability to experience pleasure, creating problems with memory, causing missed opportunities during a period of heightened learning potential, ingraining expectations of unhealthy habits into brain circuitry, [and] inhibiting development of perceptual abilities” (Health). When teens abuse drugs, they are increasing their chances of becoming addicts as adults due to their changed ability to feel pleasure and to feel good without drugs. They are also damaging their brains, which can lead to memory problems. These are all things that negatively impact the lives of teens and are some of the very negative effects of teens drug abuse on the brain and body. However, drug abuse…show more content…
There are many drugs sold on the streets that are laced with other substances that can be fatal, and, if too much of any drug is taken, even if it isn’t laced with anything, it can cause an overdose, which can lead to death. One example of a drug that is commonly overdosed on is fentanyl. According to a study published by the New York Times, 21,100 people died from overdoses on fentanyl in 2015 (Katz). This drug, among many others, kills hundreds or thousands of Americans every year. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens, which is a government run agency, in 2015, 4,235 people ages 15-24 died from overdoses (Drug). With this large number of overdoses, it is an important consequence of drug use and abuse to

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