NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
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Brain Development

Graphic of a stick figure equally utilizing the left-brain and right-brain.

“Left-Brained” or “Right-Brained”? It’s Not That Simple After All

Sara Bellum
June 04, 2014

Science has just revealed … (wait for it …) You need your whole brain! Sounds obvious enough, but it’s not uncommon to hear people say, “He’s awesome at taking tests, he must be left-brained.” Or, “She’s a really good painter—she must be right-brained.” Read More »

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Boy holding his head while reading a book

Understanding Learning and Memory

Roger Sorensen, Ph.D., M.P.A., NIDA Program Official
March 28, 2013

What’s your new geometry teacher’s name? How do you get to your friend’s house? Where did you put your smartphone? Have you noticed that practice makes you play the piano better? Read More »

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Woman offering support to another woman

I Feel Your Pain: Teens and Empathy

Sara Bellum
February 21, 2013

Can you put yourself in someone else’s shoes? Developing empathy—being able to read someone else’s feelings and relate them to your own—depends to some extent on brain development. Read More »

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marijuana lowers IQ

Can Smoking Marijuana Actually Lower Your IQ?

By Carol Krause, Chief of NIDA’s Public Information and Liaison Branch
October 09, 2012

Many teenagers assume smoking weed is harmless because of all the myths floating around saying it’s safe. What few people know is that the age you start using marijuana actually makes a difference. Read More »

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A girl meditating.

The Art of Meditation: Focusing Your Brain

Eric Wargo, Office of Science Policy and Communications at NIDA
September 11, 2012

I’ve always been a huge Star Trek fan. When I was a teenager, my hero was Mister Spock—cool, analytical, even-tempered, and smarter than everyone around him. Being raised in his ancient society of the planet Vulcan made him a force to be reckoned with. Read More »

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