The Adolescent Brain

What we are learning about brain development explains the allure gambling has for young people, and it is rapidly changing the way we understand addictions in general. Gambling activities, especially those perceived to offer high rewards for little effort, are a perfect fit with the adolescent brain. We used to assume the brain was fully developed by the teen years; now we know it is still developing into the early and mid-twenties. This has tremendous implications for how we understand and address the activities and pursuits of these young people.

When Teens feel high emotion/intense peer pressure, conditions are ripe for the still-maturing circuitry in the front part of the brain to be overwhelmed, resulting in decisions that lack judgment.
Dr. Ken Winters, National Conference on Law Higher Education, February 2008

Circuits Involved in Drug Abuse and Addiction


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We recommend two resources:
"Brain Biology and Pathological Gambling", a pamphlet by Dr. Jon Grant, which is included in the materials sent to webinar participants and dowonloadable here at:



and a five minute video clip by Dr. Ken Winters:

A Parents Guide to the Teen Brain (and other info for parents)

www.drugfree.org/teenbrain

Register with name and email, and click on "enter site".

Visit this website to view a 5-minute film by psychologist Ken Winters: 1. Register with name/email. 2. Click on “enter site”. 3. View video in lower right corner of screen.