Drugs Throughout Life Stages Jane Elphingstone, Ed.D Professor of Health Education University of Central Arkansas.
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Drugs Throughout Life Stages Jane Elphingstone, Ed.D Professor of Health Education University of Central Arkansas
Objectives Cite reasons why drugs are more harmful to children and adolescents than adults. Identify which drugs have the greatest addiction potential. Examine common drugs of use and abuse at various life stages. Summarize key effects of drugs on juveniles and women and infer use of information for prevention.
The Brain and Development By the time a child is 6 years old, it is 90-95% of its adult size! The brain is not developed until about 21-25 years of age.
Effect of Early Use of Drugs The younger the brain is when exposed to drugs, the greater the chance of an addiction.
Goal for Prevention Delay the onset of drug use until the brain is developed!
Drug Addiction Potentials Opioids3-7% Alcohol10-15% Cocaine/ Amphetamines/ Methamphetamines20-30% Nicotine50-60% Jeff Georgi, Duke Addictions Program, Duke University
CDC Target Areas Infants and Children Adolescents Adults Older Adults
Infants and Children Prenatal exposure – effect vary according to time of development, type of drug, and amount of drug used. Infants do not have a developed blood brain barrier until about age 2.
Infants and Children Prenatal Exposure Prenatal exposure – effect vary according to time of development, type of drug, and amount of drug used.
Infants and Children Infants Infants do not have a developed blood brain barrier until around the age of two.
Infants and Children Children Most children do not use psychoactive drugs. Around age 9, children begin to experiment with substance around the home –i.e., inhalants, alcohol, tobacco.
Adolescents Most common drugs of use are alcohol and tobacco. Alcohol and tobacco are referred to as “gateway drugs”. Alcohol use before the age of 15 is a powerful predictor of later alcohol and drug problems.
Health Outcomes and Binge Drinking For people who began before age 13 and continued use: 4 X’s likely to be overweight or obese 3 ½ X’s likely to have HBP when 24 or older
Current, Binge, and Heavy Alcohol Use, by Age: 2003 Age in Years 12-1314-1516-1718-2021-2526-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-6465+ Percent Using in Past Month Current Use (Not Binge) Heavy Alcohol Use Binge Use (Not Heavy) 4.5 17.0 31.8 51.5 67.8 61.7 59.2 59.5 58.6 57.7 54.0 52.9 46.2 34.4
Cigarette Use among Youths Aged 12 to 17, by Age: 2002 and 2003 Percent Using in Past Month Age in Years , = Significant change 2002 to 2003
Overall Drug Trends (MTF-2003 data) Percentages of youth using illicit drugs is declining. Alcohol use remains stable. Perceived availability is declining. Increase in perceived risk of regular marijuana use. Increase in perceived risk of the use of ecstacy. Decrease in perceived risk of inhalant use.
Working Youth and Drugs Youth that work more than 20 hours per week are at high risk for substance abuse and injury. (SAMHSA) Number of youth (ages 16-17) working is increasing.
Young Adults (18-25) Alcohol is the most common drug of abuse. Young adults use more illicit drugs than adults over the age of 25.
Adults Alcohol Prescription Drugs Over the Counter Drugs
Older Adults Older adults tend to use drugs that help them cope with aging Alcohol Prescription drugs including antidepressants and tranquilizers Over-the-counter drugs
Women and Drug Abuse Compared to men, girls and women who use drugs are more likely to: Report faster rates of addiction Experience adverse health consequences from smoking, drinking, or using drugs. Be depressed and suicidal. Engage in risky sex or be victims of sexual assault. Have easier access to drugs.
Juveniles and Drug Abuse Youth using drugs are at greater risk for problems including: Academic difficulties Health related problems (including mental health) Poor peer relationships Involvement with the juvenile justice system Consequences for family members, the community, and society
Summary Drugs have a more serious effect on an immature brain than an adult brain. Some drugs have greater addiction potentials than others. Drug of use and abuse may vary throughout life stages.