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Substance Use Disorder Influence on Adolescents Brain Development

Brandy Klingman

Substance abuse has not changed much over time. However, the types of substances and the “times” are certainly changing with the access to modern technology. The experiential difference between the over 40 adult and the under 25 person has never been greater. We as providers of healthcare, first responders and law enforcement are dealing with an entirely different adolescent/young adult than we have ever known. Adolescence and young adulthood are a unique period in neurodevelopment. Recent research has indicated that adolescent substance users show abnormalities on measures of brain functioning, which is linked to changes in neurocognition over time. These specific neurological changes can impact the already difficulty to navigate cognitive and emotional functioning of the average adolescent and young adult. This presentation will review briefly these neurological and development changes, the impact of the changes on daily functioning, and practical interventions on managing the young substance user in current society norms.


Title and three objectives:

Objective 1: Review neurological impact of substance use disorder on adolescent brain development.

Objective 2: Discuss impact of these neurological and developmental changes on youth daily functioning cognitively, socially, and emotionally.

Objective 3: Review practical interventions for healthcare providers, law enforcement, and first responders on managing the young person with SUD in modern times.