For many, drug and alcohol experimentation begins during the teen years. Increased freedoms, growing impulsivity, sensitive brain reward systems, and heavier influence of peers and social groups, all contribute to an increased risk for substance abuse during adolescence. But does this use in the teen years have more lasting influences?
Michigan State University Releases Striking Results
Researchers at the University of Michigan have conducted a study on how teen drug and alcohol use influences use later in life. The study compiled data collected from 15,000 adolescents in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Teen data was sampled at ages 16, 22, and 29 years old, allowing the researchers to observe trends and patterns that might have persisted from or resulted from behavior in adolescence.
The study found that when drugs and alcohol were more readily available to adolescents, particularly in their own homes, they had an increased risk for substance use and abuse when they were adults. These effects were particularly evident in Caucasians and males, and teens from these homes began using at an earlier age than their peers.
Emphasizing Prevention and Recovery
This study highlights the need for quality addiction prevention programs- educational and informative services that provide people with the facts about addiction, and attempts to prevent drug use and abuse at the community level. Further, it also shows the real need for quality treatment in the massive numbers of people who are addicted to opiates and other illegal drugs. The opiate epidemic, spawned by the overprescribing of prescription painkillers, has created huge numbers of both adults and adolescents that are addicted to drugs. In order to prevent the next generation from following in the same footsteps, it is critical that we find ways to provide quality treatment to more people, so that more homes can be cleared of drugs and alcohol. This is just one way that we can try to avoid history repeating itself in yet another generation of suffering addicts.
Help is Available
If you or someone you know is addicted to drugs or alcohol, don’t wait until it’s too late. Call the professionals at Serenity Acres today for your free confidential assessment, 1-800-203-2024.