Teens who have suffered brain injuries more likely to turn to drugs

More and more studies are showing that a brain injury doesn’t have to be severe in order to have long-term, altering effects on the brain. Even though concussions are typically classified mild to moderate Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), the impact on the injured can be severe - particularly during adolescence when the brain is still developing.

teen concussion

In any given year, about 5 per cent of teenagers will suffer a concussion or other brain injury, and about 60 per cent of them will occur while participating in sports.

Sadly, researchers have found that these teenagers who suffer concussions or other traumatic brain injuries are more likely to use alcohol and drugs including non-prescribed tranquilizers and opioids as well as illicit drugs such as cannabis, cocaine and even crystal meth than their peers with no history of such an injury.

Dr. Michael Cusimano, a neurosurgeon at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, explains that having a TBI and exposing the brain to the effects of alcohol or drugs may “greatly impair” brain development. “It’s a really toxic combination when you have the two together,” he says about mixing a head trauma with alcohol or drug use.

If you know a teen who has suffered a mild brain injury in an accident, refer them to a personal injury lawyer so that they get the support and compensation they deserve.

Source: The Globe and Mail