FIVE THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT DRUG ADDICTION FROM THE PASS ON IT and SBFC WEBSITES
BY MARLENE HEYNING
- Affects of Alcohol & Marijuana on the Brain: Alcohol and marijuana are two of the most common drugs that teens and young adults consume. Most people believe that marijuana has little to no effects on the brain, whereas alcohol is damaging. However, with both drugs there are some damaging long-term effects. With teenage alcohol consumption, teens are more likely to become binge-drinkers and have slower reaction to stimuli. In the case of marijuana, the effect this drug has on the teen brain can lead to lower IQs when you get older, and, if you have any genetic risk factors such as depression or schizophrenia, you are more likely to “open” these genes up for you getting the disorder.
- Mimicking Molecules in the Brain: Drugs such as marijuana and heroin, once in your system, mimic certain brain molecules that can release dopamine in your pleasure and motivation pathways. By taking the drug more and more, you are more likely to become addicted and want to feel the pleasure that the drug can give you.
- Becoming Addicted: There are a myriad of ways that young adults and teens can become addicted to drugs and alcohol. These ways are your genes, home and family life, peers and school environment, how early a user starts, and the method of which they use. The worst methods are smoking and injecting into a vein.
- Least and Most Addictive Drug: While all drugs are addictive to the brain, some drugs are a lot more addictive than others. One of the least addictive drugs that someone can use is inhalants or salvia. It is still unclear whether salvia has addictive properties since more studies are needed. The most addictive drug is heroin, with 23% of individuals that take the drug become addicted.
- Death by Drugs in the US: Most people know that drugs are dangerous, but they don’t exactly get how many people are affected each day. Every day in the United States 113 people die from drug overdoses and another 6,748 people are treated in emergency rooms for drug overdoses.