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Consequences of adolescent drug use

Substance use in adolescence is a known risk factor for the development of neuropsychiatric and substance use disorders in adulthood. This is in part due to the fact that critical aspects of brain development occur during adolescence, which can be altered by drug use. Despite concerted efforts to educate youth about the potential negative consequences of substance use, initiation remains common amongst adolescents world-wide. Additionally, though there has been substantial research on the topic, many questions remain about the predictors and the consequences of adolescent drug use. In the following review, we will highlight some of the most recent literature on the neurobiological and behavioral effects of adolescent drug use in rodents, non-human primates, and humans, with a specific focus on alcohol, cannabis, nicotine, and the interactions between these substances. Overall, consumption of these substances during adolescence can produce long-lasting changes across a variety of structures and networks which can have enduring effects on behavior, emotion, and cognition.


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