Where Do Teens Get Drugs? – Pacific Teen Treatment

Adolescence is a formative time in a young person’s life. It is filled with countless lessons, physiological maturation, insatiable curiosity, and a newfound need for autonomy. Teenagers are notoriously known as hypersensitive, impulsive, wildly emotional beings. Though teenagers may visually morph into adults during adolescence, their brains do not fully develop until at least age twenty-five. With an underdeveloped pre-frontal cortex (area of the brain that reigns rational thought, impulse control, executive planning, etc.) teenagers are innately programed to rely on the amygdala (area of the brain that governs one’s emotions, impulsivity, emotional behavior, and motivation). Every young person is unique, and each will encounter distinctly challenging situations during adolescence, test a different combination of boundaries, and experiment with different stimuli (e.g., drugs, alcohol, sex, etc.). The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) reported findings from a survey that found 58.8% of teenagers had consumed alcohol by their senior year in high school, and 47% had used illicit drugs. For those on the prowl, there are a variety of sources for which a teenager can obtain illegal substances.

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