NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
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Drugs & Health Blog

Cocaine and the Teen Brain

Sara Bellum

The human brain continues to grow during the teen years, well into the twenties. It’s a scientific fact that abusing drugs and alcohol while your brain is still developing can change the brain’s structure and how it works—both in the short and long term.

Yale University scientists recently explored how some of these changes occur when the brain is exposed to the stimulant cocaine—and learned that some changes result from the brain trying to protect itself.

Your Brain’s Self-Defense

When exposed to cocaine for the first time, the teen brain tries to defend itself against the harmful drug by changing the shape of the brain cells (or neurons) and synapses. This defensive reaction is controlled by a certain pathway in the brain involving integrin beta1, a crucial gene in the development of the nervous system in humans and most animals. The scientists discovered that if they blocked the pathway—and prevented this cell-shape change—the mice became three times more sensitive to the effects of cocaine.

This research may explain why some people who use cocaine end up addicted to the drug while others escape its worst effects. Everyone’s genetic makeup is unique. It’s possible that those with strong integrin beta1 pathways are better able to avoid the dangerous effects of the drug. More research is needed to discover which genes can protect the brain from the effects of cocaine and other drugs.

Good News: Cocaine Use Is Down

The number of teens using cocaine has been steadily declining over the past decade. In fact, use among all age groups is down.

Categories: 
Brain Science

Comments

most teens do this cuse of just pir pressher and there friends or that ur live is just bad and they think cocain is something u can go to becuse they think it understands

most teens do this so that they can get laid not pir pressher
why would this work
It would work because its scientifically proven so it works.
wow
drugs are stupid
ITs pure pressure

This video will tell any teen what they have to look forward to if they should choose a life of addiction

The producers of this short film are both recovering addicts who have both spent time living and indulging with drug addiction in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Today they are both clean and sober with multiple years of recovery
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im learning about cocain right now. i would love for some help on my project (;

Cocaine is bad for you dony use it

I didn't know this before. This is very useful information.

Cocaine is bad for you dont use it.

badbadbadbadbad

yolo

Just kidding. Don't do drugs, kids!

dont do drugs

Ruskaya.
Crack is bad, comrades!

drugs are bad for you!!! KBYE

dont do drugs. kbye

Drugs are bad
Guys dont do drugs. OK, badbadbadbad! BAD for you! ick!
cocaine, like crack with many of the same effects, is whack! CTHULHU sais; dont do drugs, they screw with your head.
crack is very very bad drug for any one don't make the same mistake miley cyrus
this is very bad
guuy. Dees Drugs are bad for you done do them or yull get hert

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