Did you know that your brain develops until you reach the age of 25? Anything you do to disrupt this process-including drug use-will affect how your brain develops. During the brain’s development stage, any type of change in the brain’s wiring could affect the brain function. Drug use is one of the ways that can mess up the wiring.
Drug use affects the way your brain processes and retains information and how you think, learn, remember, focus and concentrate. Judgment is often the first attribute to be affected. You may find it difficult to make good decisions, to make them quickly or to be realistic when you make them. Suddenly it becomes much easier to wait until the last minute to cram for that test/exam or to crank out homework or a school project. You may also find yourself having difficulty concentrating and paying attention, especially when you are in class or trying to study.
If you think that these long term effects of substance abuse don’t apply to you, think about how much study time you have lost due to partying all night. Are you worried that your substance use may be affecting you, your grades or your relationship? Have you noticed your grades dropping? Are the classes you once enjoyed now becoming more difficult? Are you finding yourself behind in your school work and not having enough time to study or get your assignments done? You may want consider how your substance abuse could be affecting your academic performance.
Research shows that there is a definite link between teen drug use and how well you do in school. Teens who abuse drugs have lower grades, a higher rate of absence from school, school activities as well as family gatherings, and an increased potential for dropping out of school.
Marijuana for example affects your attention, memory and ability to learn. Its effects can last for days or weeks after the drug wears off.
While substance abuse is a serious problem that can affect your academic, personal and professional life very seriously, it is also a treatable problem. Many sources are available to provide you with the help you or your friend may need.