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1.How does addiction work?

Addiction is the fact or condition of being physically and mentally dependent on a particular substance, also known as being addicted. You can be addicted to substances such as alcohol or drugs, or an activity. Addiction applies an influence on the brain that is obvious to the eye in three ways, cravings for the object, no control over the use of it and continuing to use it, despite the bad results which follow. A lot of experts have believed for a very long time that only alcohol and drugs can cause addiction. However, Neuroimaging technologies have shown that activity which is pleasurable, such as gambling, can also appoint the brain. This happens when your brain releases dopamine in the nucleus accumbens, this is so tied with pleasure that neuroscientists refer to it as “the pleasure center” of the brain.

2.An understanding of why teenagers engage in these behaviours

Teenagers engage on addictions, such as drugs and alcohol for many reasons. One of the biggest and most common reasons,today, is peer pressure, when teenagers want to “fit in” they will then do whatever they can do to be accepted by their peers , so, they do whatever their peers encourage them to do- to act “cool”, without realising that they can just say no. teenagers also engage in substance abuse because of curiosity, rebellion, self medication and because they might have grown up in an environment were drugs and alcohol took place. Teenagers who do, do it under circumstances such as the above dont understand that they can just say no and can stop themselves, but don’t because of the society they are growing up in and learning about, like the society our generation is living in today. Another common reason, is that tenagers engage in these types of behaviours is that they might have depression, this is one of the reasons because teenagers who do have depression take substances like drugs to “numb the pain”.

3.The risks involved
The major risks of substance abuse is that there are certain characteristics of the brain that can make you more vulnerable to become addicted to substances like cigarettes. A lot of teenagers take drugs like cocaine, heroin and marijuana-which are more addictive. When you try and stop these addictions you will struggle to get over them which can lead to overdoses, an imbalance in your brain and a lot more complications. The risks is also that if you get caught with substances like that you can be put in jail. Another risk is that there are bad environmental influences involved which can make you enjoy the environment more and make you want to do it again. Starting to abuse substances at a young age will cause you to have medical problems when young get older, for an example, if you start to smoke cigarettes which contain nicotine and tar at a young age you can have lung problems, like lung cancer and tumors.

4.Tips for teenagers.
A few tips to help you get over your addictions is to set an exact date to when you want to quit so you can know exactly when you would like to stop and so it will motivate you to stop sooner than later. Start lessening you addiction day by day, by doing this it will teach your body to not crave substances as much as you usually do and so your mind will realise that you are not having as much of the substance as before. Set a good environment for yourself this helps because if you are in a good influential environment it will stop you from craving and wanting to continue to abuse your body with bad substances.Stop the addictive behaviour as planned, even though it will be difficult, its good to try.Keep clear of you triggers, so you wont feel the need and want to start your addiction again.don’t be around people that will influence you to do bad things, if you don’t lay around them it will be easier.