Firstly, to understand how addiction works we have to know what addiction is. Addiction is an intense craving for something, you lose control over its use and continue to use and abuse the substance even though there are consequences.
Hundreds of years ago, the general attitude towards alcohol was that people drank it because they wanted to, not that there was an internal or external necessity. But as people started to realise that there was an irresistible urge towards alcohol and drugs, the concept of addiction came about.
The original belief on addiction, was that the substances being consumed have addictive properties… Blaming the addiction on the contents of the substance. Later the idea changed and (addiction was believed that addiction is part of the addicts character.)
Depending on substances like alcohol and drugs was seen as a (personality flaw.) But later it became clear that addiction is something that a person suffers from, like a sickness or a disease.
Drugs that are addictive, create a shortcut to the brain’s reward system. How? It floods the nucleus accumbens with dopamine (dopamine functions as a neurotransmitter. It is responsible for the feelings of reward and pleasure.) The hippocampus remembers this feeling of quick pleasure and satisfaction, and the amygdala makes a certain response to this reaction or event. All substances of abuse send a strong current of dopamine to the nucleus accumbens.
2. An understanding of why teenagers engage in these behaviors.
The top 5 reasons that teenagers abuse substances:
Stress, studies show that 73 percent of teenagers resort to substance abuse is because of stress at school or what is going on at home.
Social acceptance or low self-esteem, there is often a case where a teenager does drugs to feel cool or to be accepted into society. Teenagers also use drugs to feel better about themselves, they use drugs to be accepted into the wrong friend group even though they understand that it is wrong.
Self-Medication, students use drugs to cope with anger, depression or anxiety.
Misinformation, lots of teenagers don’t understand the dangers of drugs. And some teenagers are under the impression that it is safer to use prescription drugs rather than illegal drugs
Easy access, some teenagers use drugs just because they are easy to aquire.
Top 5 Reasons Teens Use DrugsCasa Palmera
3. The risks involved in abusing substances:
There are many short and long term risks in substance abuse. Some of the short term risks include overdose. Overdose is an excessive and dangerous dose of a drug. Death can be the result of some overdoses. The risks highly depend on how you take the drug and what drug you take; how much of the drug you take and how often you take it.
The risks of using drugs :: SA Health
4. Tips for teenagers:
Stay true to who you are, don’t let peer pressure get to you. Have a goal in life, if doing drugs or abusing substances gets in your way then it will be easier to say no. Surround yourself with people who understand that you have no interest in substance abuse and they will help you to stay centered. I know that it sounds kind of silly, but if you want to dry drinking or drugs do it in a safe environment. This way you have tried it and when it comes to peer pressure it will be easier to say no and if you do find yourself in a situation where drugs or alcohol is involved you know how to react.
5. Additional research on phone addiction:
Nomophobia is the irrational fear of losing contact in the world of social media, without your cell phone. If you have nomophobia it means that you are constantly being afraid of having a low battery power, losing signal, running out of airtime, or losing your phone altogether. People often become addicted to their phone because they are insecure, they have no or little self control, they get bored easily or because they have no hobbies to keep them busy. Most people with nomophobia will go to any length to protect their phone, they will always have it near them and will constantly check it for messages or to see how their battery life is doing. The usage of a phone when you are addicted can easily get in the way of your friendships, school work or office work. It is so much easier for a person to scroll through Instagram or to WhatsApp people than to rather work and focus on the job at hand. The word nomophobia is broken down to no-mo(bile phone)-phobia.