True or false: During the teen years, the rapid growth of dopamine-rich areas of the brain may make you more vulnerable to the stimulating and addictive effects of drugs and alcohol.

Expert Answers
a0542959 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

True! Due the brains' rapid growth of dompamine-rich areas, the brain responds more rapidly to the effects of drugs and alcohol. This also increases the chances of addiction during the teen years as opposed to during other times of life. Dopamine acts as a sort of reward system. For instance, if I bump into my best friend on the street, my brain is going to realize that I am happy and secrete dopamine in response. In the same way, when a teenager drinks or does drugs, the brain notices the change in the body and secretes dopamine. The body begins to desire that dopamine release and thus teenagers becomes addicted. Because teenager's brains are radically changing and developing, their brains release dopamines at the first sign of excitement/happiness.