Abuse and Addiction in Adolescence

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Abuse and Addiction in Adolescence Mary A Foerster Liberty University Abuse and Addiction in Adolescence Adolescence is an exciting and challenging time of life for young people and their parents. Adolescence begins just before the teen years and lasts until just beyond them (Feldman, 2014). It is a time of rapid physical growth and many physical changes. Secondary sex characteristics develop (Feldman, 2014). For males this includes the growth of facial and pubic hair, the deepening of the voice, and sexual maturation. All of these changes are fueled by an increase in testosterone which also causes mental and emotional changes which can include aggression (Brooks, 2014). For females this includes the growth of breasts and the menarche which is the beginning of menstruation all caused by the increase in the hormone Estrogen. Mood swings are a hallmark of adolescence in females (Brooks, 2014). Most adolescents go through this time maintaining healthy lifestyles and relationships. But there are some, because of family situations, and impulsive behavior that is a characteristic of this stage of development that turn to alcohol and drug abuse which can lead to addiction (Brooks, 2014). Drug abuse and addiction can lead to serious problems physically and emotionally for the young person. This essay will explore the difference between abuse and addiction in adolescence, the causes, the neural effects of abuse and addiction and the effect of religiosity and spirituality as a protective factor. Abuse or Addiction Drug abuse is defined by Dryden-Edwards (2014) as a destructive pattern of repeatedly using a substance that leads to significant problem or distress in major areas of life such as relationships and employment. Adolescents are more likely to abuse a substance such as alcohol or drugs because of peer pressure and the physical changes that
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