Barrier to Learning: Substance Abuse

In: Social Issues

Submitted By aswitzer
Words 1097
Pages 5
Barrier to learning:
Substance abuse
Barrier to learning:
Substance abuse

Alcohol-related traffic deaths in the US were 12,998 in 2007. This is more than three times as many American soldiers who died in combat in the first six years of the Iraq war. Substance abuse is a huge problem in America and many other countries as well. Substance abuse not only refers to alcohol it can also have to do with drugs. Youth who drink are 7.5 times more likely to use other illegal drugs and fifty times more likely to use cocaine than young people who never drink.

Now how does marijuana use affect your school, work, and social life? Because marijuana impairs short-term memory and judgment and distorts perception, it can impair performance in school or at work and make it dangerous to drive an automobile. It also affects brain systems that are still maturing through young adulthood, so regular use by teens may have a negative and long-lasting effect on their cognitive development, putting them at a competitive disadvantage and possibly interfering with their well-being in other ways. Also, contrary to popular belief, marijuana can be addictive, and its use during adolescence may make other forms of drug abuse or addiction more likely. Exposure to cannabinoids during adolescent development can cause long-lasting changes in the brain’s reward system as well as the hippocampus, a brain area critical for learning and memory. Regular marijuana use in adolescence is part of a cluster of behaviors that can produce enduring detrimental effects and alter the trajectory of a young person’s life—throwing off his or her potential. Beyond potentially lowering IQ, teen marijuana use is linked to school dropout, other drug use, mental health problems, etc. Given the current number of regular marijuana users (about 1 in 15 high school seniors) and the possibility of this number increasing…...

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