Is Substance Use a Part of “Normal” Teen Behavior?
(New Philadelphia, Ohio) – Substance use is not simply a ‘rite of passage.’
This informational series is brought to you by the Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition.
According to drugfree.org, at times parents and caregivers seem to shrug off substance use as “a rite of passage” or “just experimenting.” But, officials stress this is not the case. Experts note that it is easy to recognize the obvious risks of drug, alcohol, or nicotine use – such as car accidents, personal injury, and even addiction. But, a less obvious impact is that on the still-developing teen brain.
Officials note that adolescence is a time of rapid brain development where the brain’s framing and wiring become more efficient. This is when the brain develops skills to focus, prioritize, and problem-solve. Research indicates vaping, drinking, or using substances can damage that wiring, increasing the likelihood of learning difficulties and physical and mental health problems during the teen years and into adulthood.