The Drive for Dopamine, Anandamide and Endorphin

The adolescent brain is often likened to a car with a fully functioning gas pedal but with weak brakes.  Adolescent brains are also going faster than any adult brain can - - and faster than they will ever go again.  They are also driven toward anything that gives them an immediate relief and an immediate reward, i.e., dopamine and its companion bio-chemicals, anandamide and endorphin. These and other physical and psychological changes, which occur only in the adolescent brain, are part of the reason "why" adolescents are more likely than any other population to begin drug use, and they are also 5 times more likely to become addicted.  However, these are also the reasons why youth choose not to use.  This fast-paced session covers what ever adolescent, parent, and professional should know.