Adolescence is a critical period in brain development. While the brain normally reaches its full size around 10 years old, the brain is still developing until approximately ages 24 or 25. During adolescence, a significant amount of brain development is happening, especially in the parts of the brain needed for complex tasks, organization, planning, and judgment.
3 Key Things to Know About the Teen Brain & Substance Use:
- Adolescence is an important “window” of opportunity and sensitivity for the brain, with rapid brain connectivity occurring.
- How the brain is used during adolescence, and what it is exposed to, will have life-long effects.
- Due to the stage of brain development in adolescence, teens are more susceptible to the addictive effects of substance use.
(Source: Marijuana & The Teen Brain: What Parents Need to Know presentation by the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program – Boston Children’s Hospital)