Research has shown that people who begin experimenting with drugs or abuse during early adolescence are more likely to develop substance use disorders (SUDs).  Young adults may take more risks and experiment with drugs or alcohol as a way to feel “cool” or fit in with their peers. This type of impulsive behavior can unfortunately lead to a full-blown addiction. It’s important to understand this disease and the symptoms that come along with it. Our drug and alcohol rehab center in Philadelphia explain how adolescence and addiction are related, and how to help a young adult get the treatment they need before it’s too late. Addiction in young adults can be identified and treated for a changed lifestyle.
After receiving a reward, there is a strong reaction in a region of a teenager’s brain that is associated with habit formation. When young adults experiment with drugs or alcohol for the first time, the reward that they feel can cause them to quickly develop an unhealthy habit. Decision-making skills can be directly correlated with rewards, and adolescents simply perceive and react differently than adults. The brain is also not fully developed during young teenage years, and this can lead to impulsive decisions and irrational behaviors. The differences in the brains of a young adult and an older adult can play a role in the formation of any addiction. This connection does not necessarily mean that all young adults are more prone to addiction. There are many other genetic and environmental factors that come into play.
There is hope for young adults who struggle with this illness. Customized addiction treatment can help individuals better understand the disease and learn productive ways to change unhealthy thoughts and behaviors. Supporting your loved one through the recovery journey includes helping them seek professional treatment and sticking by their side during the difficult times. There is hope for a changed lifestyle and as a teenager, your whole life is ahead of you.