Researchers have recently discovered that head trauma increases risk of substance abuse in teens.
While teens often can be prone to risky behavior, a head injury may increase their chances of substance abuse and smoking cigarettes.
The authors of the study, Michael D. Cusimano, MD, PhD, a neurosurgeon at St. Michael’s Hospital, and Robert E. Mann, PhD, director of the Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey in Canada, said that better education about traumatic brain injury and substance abuse is necessary for medical personnel, parents, teachers, and coaches.
“Overall, a teen with a history of traumatic brain injury is at least twice as likely as a classmate who hasn’t suffered a brain injury to drink alcohol, use cannabis or abuse other drugs,” Dr. Cusimano said in a press release. “On top of the other health consequences, substance abuse increases the odds of suffering an injury that could result in a traumatic brain injury. And using some of these substances may also impair recovery after injury. People should take every brain injury seriously because, as this research shows, the immediate and long-term effects can alter lives.”