Drugs and alcohol have devastating effects on the human body. These substances are very damaging to the brain, which controls everything we do, feel, and say. The brain is a complex organ that controls how the way you feel, move and talk. The brain also helps you think, learn, and process information in order to make critical decisions.
Substance abuse is more harmful to teens than it is to adults. An adolescent’s brain is still developing into adulthood. When a person is addicted to drugs and alcohol, the brain’s function is compromised and it loses the ability to control the body. The drugs and alcohol invade the brain and disrupt the brain’s performance by altering all of its normal activity. Teens are prone to impulsiveness and using alcohol or drugs multiplies their carelessness.
A teen’s brain is rapidly absorbing a lot of information as they grow. Drug and alcohol use contribute to lifelong damage in brain function, which includes memory, movement, and coordination. The addicted person loses their self-control. Alcohol abuse can lead to irreversible brain damage.
Drugs and alcohol damage the development of a young person’s brain in many ways. The substances alter brain cells called neurotransmitters that send messages to nerves and communicate with each other to function properly. Interfering with neurotransmitters damages these connections. Neurotransmitters reward the body and give a feeling of pleasure and satisfaction. Drugs and alcohol cause the brain to release dopamine. This is what causes a person to have pleasurable feelings. As time goes on, the brain builds up a tolerance to the drug or alcohol, so the body needs more of it.
Substance abuse alters perception and logical thinking. Over time, the choices and habits an adolescent makes become embedded in the brain. Repeated actions turn into habits and reasoning developed in childhood remain with the adolescent throughout their life.
Teens often have impulsive behavior and cannot understand the consequences of their choices regarding drugs and alcohol. Adolescents go through a challenging stage of development and drugs and alcohol will interfere with their brain’s growth. Teens need to take care of their brains to be healthy, make wise decisions, and enjoy life.