HLTH*615 - Activity #2

Signs and Symptoms of Addictions in Adolescents


What is addiction? Addiction can be defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite some of the harmful consequences (Abuse, Drugs, Brains, and Behavior, 2007). According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is referred to as a brain disease due to how drugs change the brain - they change the way it is structured and how it works (Abuse, Drugs, and Behavior, 2007).
Big image

Risk and Protective Factors of Drug Addiction

There are a variety of factors that play a role in the individuals decision to begin/continue using drugs. Risk factors can be described as factors within the individuals life increasing the potentiality of him/her to begin/continue using drugs; while protective factors are factors within the persons life reducing the risk of drug abuse (Preventing Drug Use among Children and Adolescents, 1997).

The information below describes 5 risk factors;

- Early aggressive behavior

- Poor social skills

- Lack of parental supervision

- Substance abuse

- Poverty

The information below describes 5 domains where the factors mentioned above can occur (respectively);

- Behavior

- Individual

- Family

- Peer

- Community

The information below describes 5 protective factors (respectively);

- Self-control

- Parental monitoring and support

- Academic Competence

- Anti-drug use policies

- Neighborhood attachment

Adolescent Drug-Use Risk

Drug-use/abuse research suggests that the individual's risk begins to increase during early age, at the most risk during teenage years, and declines as an adult. A child's earliest interactions occur within the family. For example, when there is a lack of family involvement/attachment the child's risk increases. Families can protect their child from future drug use when there is a strong bond between the parents and the child. During the individuals teenage years is when there is the most risk for the individual to begin using drugs due to the availability and peer influence.

Identifying Early Signs of Drug-Use

Watch the video below to identify early signs of Drug-Use.
Bradford Health Services - Signs and Symptoms of Alcoholism and Drug Addiction in Adolescents.mp4


There are many factors that play a role in the individuals life that will influence whether or not he/she will experience drug use. The factors effect the individual during different stages of their lives. Protective factors reduce the risk of the individual experiencing drug use and limits the opportunity for temptations.


Abuse, N. I. (1997, January). Preventing Drug Use among Children and Adolescents (In Brief). Retrieved February 7, 2014, from National Institute on Drug Abuse: http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/preventing-drug-abuse-among-children-adolescents/chapter-1-risk-factors-protective-factors

Abuse, N. I. (2007, April). Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction. Retrieved February 7, 2014, from National Institute on Drug Abuse: http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/science-addiction