Amphetamines May Cause Permanent Brain Damage In Teens

By Staff Writer

Drug use at any age can cause major damage to the brain. However, the findings of a recent study suggest that amphetamine use may be particularly harmful during adolescence when the brain is still forming, which may underscore the importance for parents to seek substance abuse treatment for their children if they believe their offspring are abusing drugs.

Certain types of amphetamines have become exceedingly common in recent years. Many children who have been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder are prescribed these medications. However, this also increases the availability of these drugs for individuals who would abuse them.

For the study, a team of researchers from the University of Chicago looked at the response of brain cells to electric stimulation after being exposed to amphetamines. They found that adolescent brain cells undergo permanent changes that cause them to respond abnormally to stimulation.

For children who abuse amphetamines, this could mean brain damage that results in long-term intellectual deficits and learning disabilities. In order to avoid these problems, parents who suspect their teens of drug use may want to consider rehab facilities for treatment.