Why Does NIDA Study Addiction in Teens?

Screengrab of Brandon Thomas Lee and Dr. Volkow

Image by NIDA.

The actor Brandon Thomas Lee recently sat down with NIDA’s Director, Dr. Nora Volkow, for a virtual conversation about addiction, recovery, mental health, and how COVID-19 affects it all.

One of Brandon’s questions was, “NIDA does a lot of research focused on teenage/young adult drug use in particular—why is that?” Watch Dr. Volkow's answer:

The teen brain is like a computer program that’s still being coded. Because it’s developing, it’s more vulnerable than the adult brain to changes caused by drug use. 

Want to know more and be empowered with information to make informed decisions about drugs and drug use? Check out our Drug Facts page on the brain and addiction. And watch Brandon Thomas Lee’s full interview with Dr. Volkow.

Find Help Near You

Use the SAMHSA Treatment Locator to find substance use or other mental health services in your area. If you are in an emergency situation, this toll-free, 24-hour hotline can help you get through this difficult time: call 1-800-273-TALK, or visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. We also have step by step guides on what to do to help yourself, a friend or a family member.

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