The Adolescent Brain and Substance Use


Grupo de adolescentes afuera en un banco
  • Adolescence is a time of important developmental and social growth. There are many interrelated factors that influence changes in a young person’s brain structure and function, and can have a long-term impact on their body, mind, and mental health.
  • Adolescence is also a time of growing independence, exploration, and risk-taking. Teens may experiment with nicotine via cigarettes or vaping, alcohol, and marijuana, at a time when exposure to these substances can have a significant impact on brain development. Early use of alcohol and other substances can increase the likelihood of going on to use other drugs and of developing a substance use disorder.
  • NIDA leads the Adolescent Brain Cognitive DevelopmentSM Study (ABCD Study®), a long-term study of brain development and child health. The ABCD Study is researching the effects of substance use as well as environmental, social, genetic, and other biological factors on the developing adolescent brain.

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