Addiction Affects The Developing Brain Of An Adolescent

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Addiction in Adolescence
All addictions begin with risk taking. So, why is it that adolescents have such an attraction to risky behaviors? According to Broderick (2013), adolescents have a high propensity for sensation seeking (novel experiences) and seem to be willing to put themselves at risk in order to have these novel experiences (p. 392). This essay will attempt to discuss how the brain is developing, being impacted, and, how spiritual development effects adolescent risky behavior.
Risky behaviors can include any behavior that is seen by most as deviant social behavior. For example, drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, eating disorders, alcohol abuse, etc. These behaviors occur in youth for a number of reasons and can range from being mild to severe. Some reasons for risky behaviors is: doing what their peers do, the need to feel/be sensational, or, as a way of testing their self-determination or individualism (p. 405).
How Abuse or Addiction Affects the Developing Brain of an Adolescent
Since we are categorizing abuse and addiction as risky behaviors, the question is – how is the brain being affected by these behaviors? As the brain develops, the growth and pruning of dopamine receptors (neurotransmitters that deal with emotions) cause a different distribution of receptors throughout the brain. Just when the youth begins seeking the approval from his peers, his cognitive control is developing at a slower rate that his emotions. Therefore, three

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