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Adolescence and Addiction

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Running head: Adolescence and Addiction

Adolescence and Addiction
Yolanda Johnson
Liberty University

Adolescence is described as the developmental years between childhood up until adulthood. These years are a discovery period when youth are trying to identify who they are what they like and how they fit into society. This is also a period in which youth are experiencing rapid physical growth that will usher in the onset of puberty. On average, boys grow 4.1 inches a year and girls 3.5 inches a year (Feldman, 2010). Puberty also is the beginning of the maturing of the sex organs. Males began producing a hormone called androgens and females produce a hormone called estrogen. During adolescence the brain also develops considerably, especially in an area called the prefrontal cortex; this is the part of the brain that allows people to think, evaluate, and make complex judgments in a uniquely human way (Feldman, 2010).
During these years as adolescents seek to identify themselves as independent individuals but are highly influenced by their peers. Sometimes the influence of peer pressure will steer adolescents into experimenting with drugs and alcohol. These experiences could lead to addiction which may affect brain development and develop an unhealthy pattern of behavior; because during adolescence the prefrontal cortex is biologically immature, their ability to inhibit impulses is not fully developed (Feldman 2010). Drugs and alcohol both are severe threats to adolescence health and must be addressed in preventable approaches both in home and at school. Most recent surveys have shown nearly 50,000 U.S. students show that almost 50% of high school seniors and almost 20% of eighth graders report having used marijuana within the past year. Adolescents using drugs can be very dangerous with some drugs on the streets are combined with lethal substances…...

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