Adolescence is a crucial stage for physical and mental human development. An adolescent brain has increased desire of knowledge and exploration. At the same time it is highly vulnerable to high-risk behaviors, mental illness, and addiction. Adolescent drug and alcohol abuse, results in side effects that can impact them for entire life.
Adolescence Alcohol Abuse
Easy access to alcohol is one of the most potential reasons that drive an adolescent towards alcohol abuse. As adolescents are not fully grown physically and mentally, alcohol abuse will have a long lasting and severe effect on them.
Alcohol is a depressant that slows the function of the central nervous system, which is crucial in maintaining perceptions, movements, emotions, vision and hearing of a person. Starting alcohol abuse at an younger age and continuing it through out the rest of the life will have a critical impact on the abuser that could be fatal.
Adolescent Marijuana Abuse
Marijuana is one of the most widely abused illegal drugs in the United States. Comparatively, marijuana is more fatal to alcohol abuse for an youngster. According to University of Cincinnati, marijuana abuse significantly declines the brain activities to cognitive tasks in adolescents.
A recent study done by scientists at North Shore University has found that marijuana abuse aggravates genetic vulnerability to schizophrenia among youngsters.
Schizophrenia usually appears in late adolescence in males who abuse marijuana. On the contrary, females tend to develop schizophrenia later in their mid-20s and beyond. Schizophrenia is a severe psychiatric disorder with symptoms of emotional instability, detachment from reality, and withdrawal into the self.
The Reasons for the Abuse
There are many reasons why some children and young teens start abusing alcohol and marijuana or any other drug. Most young people abuse some form of drug because they see their family members or friends or known people abuse and seems to enjoy it. The other important cause is youngsters hear songs about drugs and see them abused on TV and in movies and misunderstand that drug abuse is common and nothing wrong in it. Some teens misapprehend that marijuana and other drugs help them to escape from problems at home, school, or with friends.
Alcohol and marijuana abuse impose serious and long-term affects on adolescents. Parents and educational institutions have a bigger role to play and help youngsters to understand the impact of drug abuse, stop it and prevent it.