In the U.S., 21st century addiction problems are appearing earlier in life, according to the latest scientific data revealed at the “The Addicted Brain and New Treatment Frontiers: Sixth Annual Aspen Brain Forum,”. The data reveals that abuse and addiction occurring in the biologically-sensitive period of adolescence can harm a vulnerable brain—so much so that abusers’ and addicts’ brains may not reach their full potential or function normally.
- Our brains develop from the bottom to the top and from the back to the front until approximately age 25. Brain circuitry during this developmental stage is particularly vulnerable to substances of abuse.
- Data show that in America, teenagers are more likely than adults to experiment with alcohol, cigarettes, and illegal/prescription drugs,
- 1 in 4 who begin using before age 18 become addicted, compared to 1 in 25 who started using at age 21 or later.
Gobi’s aim is early detection and intervention in teen substance use, with the explicit goal of preventing the progression to abuse and addiction. This is really why we need innovative approaches and programs to help youth and families.