No matter how old a person is, substance abuse can come along with negative consequences. However, people abusing drugs early in life face even more issues and risks of negative effects on their lives. Take a look at some of the hidden dangers of substance abuse among young individuals.
A Risk of Slowing Brain Development Exists
The rational part of the brain is not fully developed until around the age of 25. Research suggests adults and those under 25 use different parts of the brain. This is because young people’s prefrontal cortex has not finished developing. One of the dangers of substance abuse for young people is how substance abuse can affect the developing brain. By using substances that affect brain chemistry to an excessive degree, development during the vital years is changed. It is not uncommon for people abusing substances early in life to have issues with impulsive thinking later in life.
Addiction Risks May Be Higher
In a study published by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, people who start drinking before they are 15 years old are five times as likely to become dependent on alcohol and abuse it than individuals who start drinking after they turn 21. Since younger people can have less rational thought processes, they can be more impulsive and drink more or drink more often without thinking it through that they could become dependent. For example, a 19-year-old may choose to binge drink daily without considering the consequences of everyday drinking. Similar patterns can exist with other types of substances.
Long-Term Use Means Higher Rates of Health Problems
People who start using drugs or alcohol early in life could potentially see many years of abuse. Naturally, the longer a person uses substances, the more at risk they can be for certain health conditions. For example, someone who drinks alcohol daily in excess from the time they are 18 years old may be more likely to develop cirrhosis of the liver than someone who starts drinking later in life. Repeated drug or alcohol abuse over many years can have detrimental effects on health, but also the mind. Long-term substance abusers can have problems with things like anxiety or depression, for example.
Social Development Can Be Negatively Affected
People who use substances can have problems developing or maintaining close relationships with others because their actions and the substances can alter perception and personal outlooks. This is one of the biggest dangers of substance abuse in general, but it is especially a problem with younger individuals. In the latter teen and early adult years, most people are just starting to recognize their social status and find their place in society. With substance use or abuse interfering, it is easy for these important processes to get delayed or blocked completely. For instance, a young male who smokes marijuana daily may spend more time intoxicated than developing good social connections with other people.
Escape the Dangers of Substance Abuse with Help from Us
Living a life of addiction can be scary, and the ramifications of abusing drugs can be severe for your life, your body, and your mind. If you are ready to make a change, detox is the first step toward a sober beginning, and Serenity House can help. Serenity House can help patients through detox from multiple kinds of substances, such as:
- Alcohol detox center
- Opiates detox center
- Methamphetamine detox center
- Methadone detox center
- Cocaine detox center
- Marijuana detox center
Also, we can help you create an addiction treatment plan to follow after your detox is complete. If you or your loved one is ready to make a change, reach out to us at 866.516.8356 to talk about how we can help get you started on the right path.