Teenagers are inundated with temptation to try adult behaviors, while they are attempted to maneuver through high expectations placed on them to compete academically and in extracurricular activities. The pressure to experiment with sex, drugs and alcohol may be disguised as normal teenage behaviors in their social circles, but they may be developing a dangerous habit.
Smoking is a habit that is often begun in the teen years by caving to peer pressure or because it is the accepted protocol in a social network. Often, however, as smoking becomes an established addiction and the individual moves into adulthood, the reasons for smoking can be rooted in factors that affect mental health.
Recent research shows that gambling is becoming a college pastime for young men—a trend fueled by high-stakes televised poker matches, more casinos nationwide, and wagering opportunities on the Internet.
Ritalin, a methylphenidate, has been safely prescribed for children suffering from attention-deficit disorder (ADD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) for the past 70 years. It is manufactured by Novartis Pharmaceuticals, East Hanover, New Jersey. New research released in early 2009 and funded by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), however, shows that, in mice, Ritalin causes brain changes similar to that of cocaine. Both methylphenidate and cocaine are in the drug class known as psychostimulants. They are Schedule II drugs under the Controlled Substances Act – approved for medical use but also with the highest potential for abuse.