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NIDA Notes Articles: Teens

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Behavioral Response to Novelty Foreshadows Neurological Response to Cocaine

February 2007
Describes evidence supporting the view that developmental differences in brain systems that use the neurotransmitter dopamine underlie age differences in susceptibility to drug abuse.

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Brief Intervention Helps Adolescents Curb Substance Use

January 2013

NIDA-funded researchers have gathered evidence that brief interventions can help adolescents move away from drug use. In a clinical trial, middle and high school students markedly reduced their substance use following two 60-minute sessions that combined motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioral therapy.

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Buprenorphine Plus Behavioral Therapy Is Effective For Adolescents With Opioid Addiction

October 2006
Reports on a study of adolescents addicted to opioids who responded better to buprenorphine than clonidine in a clinical trial in which all patients also received behavioral therapy.

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Drugs Contribute to High Rates of Sexually Transmitted Diseases Among Juvenile Offenders

July 2011

Describe a study of newly arrested youths where researchers found correlations between the youths' prevalence of these sexually transmitted diseases and their cocaine and marijuana use.

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Early-Onset, Regular Cannabis Use Is Linked to IQ Decline

August 2013

Regular cannabis use that starts in adolescence strips away IQ, a NIDA-supported study suggests. Participants who initiated weekly cannabis use before age 18 dropped IQ points in proportion to how long they persisted in using the drug. Persistent cannabis users’ cognitive difficulties were evident to friends and family and measurable on a battery of tests.

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Elevated Rates of Drug Abuse Continue for Second Year

June 2012
Illicit drug use in the United States in 2010 was at its highest level since 2002, according to the most recent report from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. A rise in marijuana use drove the increase. A favorable trend of falling cocaine use continued.

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Ethnicity Influences Early Smoking and Progression to Drug Abuse

October 2006
Summarizes findings from a 10-year study that monitored smoking and progress to other drugs among youth that found ethnicity to be an influential factor.

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Few Teens With Prescription Opioid Use Disorders Receive Treatment

July 2012

Fewer than 12 percent of adolescents who meet diagnostic criteria for prescription opioid abuse or dependence receive any treatment, according to an analysis of data from the 2005 to 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The most common reason the adolescents gave for not receiving treatment was their lack of perceived need for it.

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Fewer Girls Are Smoking, But Change Is Uneven

March 2011

Reports 2010 rates of cigarette smoking among eighth girls, providing historical data and racial and ethnic differences.

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Fewer Young Adults Abuse Cocaine and Methamphetamine, National Survey Finds

December 2008

Reports prevalence rates of illicit drug abuse among youths and young adults based on 2007 data from a national survey of drug use and health.

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