People become addicted for a wide range of reasons. A person might be genetically predisposed to addiction, which means that the prefrontal cortex functions differently in their bloodline compared to others. Some people are more at risk of becoming addicted due to their environment (past or present); others are also at risk due to mental illness. One of the most common factors is that the person began drinking or using illegal drugs at a young age.
The Brain of a Young Person
The brain doesn’t fully develop until a person is in their mid-20s. The part of the brain responsible for regulating one’s behavior, as well as making choices between right or wrong and calculating the outcome of one’s behavior, doesn’t mature until a person reaches 25. With a brain that is yet to mature, a sensible and intelligent teen can still engage in excessive behaviors and even addiction, even if he is aware of the dangerous consequences.
Addiction at a Young Age
Young people are under a lot more stress than adults give them credit for. They worry about school, social status, and other issues, so drinking or using illegal drugs may offer them an escape or the chance to fit in. When a young person begins drinking or using to cope with stress or certain emotions, their brain is learning at a young age to turn to these substances in these situations, which can stay with them for life if an intervention doesn’t happen.