Dependency is the uncontrolled use of a habit-forming drug or unchecked and unhealthy practice (such as computer game playing or phone texting). It results from a disease triggered by brain changes that happen after using some drugs or participating in some extremely enjoyable activities. Individuals with a dependency will feel an engaging need to use a drug (which can be alcohol, the nicotine in tobacco, a prescription drug or an illegal chemical such as drug or heroin), even when the user knows that doing so risks serious health or legal effects. (For instance, even though 35 million Americans attempt to quit smoking cigarettes each year, fewer than 15 out of 100 prosper. Most start smoking once again within a week, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. It is a good idea to buy a breathalyzer keychain
adolescence A transitional phase of physical and mental development that starts at the start of the age of puberty, generally between the ages of 11 and 13, and ends with their adult years.
alcohol poisoning A severe and possibly lethal condition that happens when somebody consumes a very large quantity of alcohol in a short time period. The alcohol can reduce a person's body temperature level. It likewise can slow a person's heart rate and breathing till one or both stop. Signs include confusion, vomiting, seizures, sluggish or irregular breathing, pale or blue-colored skin, low body temperature level and not being able to awaken.
binge drinking To consume a dangerous amount of alcohol in a short period of time. At a minimum, this would be five portions by an adult within a single day, typically within a brief time period. For teens, it could take far less alcohol to constitute binging.
advancement (in biology) The development of an organism from conception through adulthood, often going through changes in chemistry, size and sometimes even form.
electrode (in brain science) Sensing units that can pick up electrical activity. (in chemistry) Products that work as an anode or cathode, bring in negatively or favorably charged particles. Or things that work as electric conductors through which present leaves or goes into something else.
executive function The term that consists of all the brain functions required for self-regulation, self-control and analytical. Executive function needs good working memory to hold numerous pieces of information in the brain at the same time. It also includes multi-tasking, focusing on, reasoning, focus, concentration, setting goal and managing impulses.
hippocampus A seahorse-shaped region of the brain. It is believed to be the center of emotion, memory and the uncontrolled nervous system.
intoxicating An adjective to explain something that can trigger a sensory high (such as alcohol or particular other drugs)-- or an occasion or condition that can also trigger a very pleasant feeling. The "drug" that does this is known as an intoxicant.
long-lasting memory The brain's system for saving, keeping and remembering info from the past.
nerve cell or afferent neuron Any of the impulse-conducting cells that comprise the brain, spinal column and nervous system. These specialized cells send info to other nerve cells through electrical signals.
prefrontal cortex An area containing some of the brain's noodle. Found behind the forehead, it plays a role in making decisions and other intricate mental activities, in emotions and in habits.
self esteem How a person collectively sees one's abilities, attractiveness and general self-respect.
short-term memory (also referred to as primary memory) The percentage of memory held actively in the mind for a brief amount of time, such as the series of digits in a phone number.
white matter Among the two main tissue types found in the brain and spine. It consists mainly of packages of nerve fibers.