Why does NIDA do Research on the Teenage Brain?


[Brandon speaking]

One of the last questions I want to talk to you about, I know that NIDA does a lot of research focused on teenage, slash young adult drug use in particular, and why is that?

[Dr. Volkow speaking]

Because young people starting in early adolescence are much more vulnerable number one, to want to experiment with drugs and number two, if they do experiment with drugs to escalate into addiction. So, you are much more vulnerable if you start taking drugs when you are very young for addiction then if you take as an adult. and that relates to how the brain is developing and during those stages it is particularly plastic that means that it is changed by the environment much faster than in an adult and that characteristic fundamental for us to learn.