Drug addiction is a disease of the brain, and teens are at highest risk for acquiring this disease. That is the startling conclusion recently arrived at by brain experts, based on the latest research findings. This program illustrates the amazingly complicated structure and function of the brain using colorful and compelling visuals and computer animations. It explains the changes to the brain caused by prolonged use of drugs such as cocaine, heroin, nicotine, alcohol and methamphetamine, and shows why voluntary drug use eventually becomes involuntary and compulsive. Studies indicate that drugs affect the developing brain more than the brain of someone more mature, thus putting teens at a higher risk of addiction. Interviews with recovering teen addicts, an addiction counselor, and brain experts and researchers give the program realism and intensity, and provide sobering thoughts to viewers.
DVD: video, plus teacher’s resource book, student handouts and pre/post tests in digital format
Bronze Telly Award
Highly Recommended Adolescents are often under the misconception that they can use drugs without any long-term effects. Studies have shown that using drugs as a teen increases the likelihood of drug abuse as an adult.
How does drug use affect the teenage brain? Can a teen recover from addiction? What are the parts of the brain? Drug addiction is a brain disease and adolescents must be cognizant of the effects of using drugs. Noted researchers, Dr. Stephen Dewey and Dr. Aaron White discuss the causes and consequences of drug abuse on the brain in this Human Relations Media production. Several teen addicts who reside at Phoenix House in New York speak candidly about their addiction.
Drugs like cocaine and heroin create a temporary euphoria by releasing a chemical in the brain called dopamine. After prolonged use, the body develops a tolerance for the drug and more is needed to get the same initial high. In order to recover, teen addicts have to change all aspects of their lives—the people they hang out with, the places they go and the things they do.
After viewing this program, students should be able to make an informed decision about drug use. In addition to learning about drug abuse, viewers also learn about the various parts of the brain and their functions. Strongly recommended, this program will be useful in health education classes in middle and high school.
- Katherine Parsons, Information Literacy Outreach Librarian, Bronx Community College