National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week 2023
What Is Addiction?
Scientists from the National Institute on Drug Abuse answer common questions teens ask about drug use and addiction. The episode What Is Addiction? introduces viewers to the brain’s reward pathway, brain development and how addiction science continues to advance treatment and prevention of substance use disorder.
“So, I will say, for me, when I was 14 years old I had no idea what addiction was. I had never heard of the word until unfortunately I had a family friend pass away from a heroin overdose, and then the word addiction started coming up, addiction, heroin addiction”.
“Addiction is a brain disease that results from repeated use of a substance. This causes changes in the reward circuitry of the brain and makes the inhibitory circuitry of the prefrontal cortex less strong. This leads to compulsive use of the drug despite the negative impact that that compulsive drug use has on a person’s life”.
The prefrontal cortex helps you think, make decisions, and control your actions.
Talking to Your Kids
Starting the Discussion About Drug and Alcohol Use with Your Kids
Parents face a tough dilemma about substance use: we may want our children to abstain from alcohol and drug use but what do we do if they are not? Besides the effects of substance use on the developing brain, teens using substances may face very serious consequences.