How do drugs and alcohol affect a teen's social development?

Fredrick Wade
Addiction Medicine Specialist

The primary impact is on the brain. Introducing alcohol and drugs into the body of an adolescent has extreme consequences due to the varied changes the adolescent's brain is undergoing. There is increased harm to the natural process of maturation and social development. Key areas of the brain and brain function development are significantly impacted transitionally, while in some cases, though rare, the impact is long-term and may affect these individuals well into their mid to late 20s. There is also an increased risk of their almost certainly developing a substance use disorder, which further increases negative impact on the aforementioned areas of the mind and body.

Drugs and alcohol can hinder the appropriate social development of a normal teenager. Drugs and acohol can also have a negative impact on educational and health development.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.