Adolescent Brain Development, Substance Use, and Psychotherapeutic Change

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Adolescence is a unique developmental period characterized by major physiological, psychological, social, and brain changes, as well as an increased incidence of maladaptive, addictive behaviors. With the use of MRI techniques, researchers have been able to provide a better understanding of adolescent brain maturation and how neurodevelopment affects cognition and behavior. This review discusses adolescent brain development and its potential influence on psychotherapeutic change. We focus on cognitive–behavioral and mindfulness-based approaches for treating substance use and highlight potential brain mechanisms underlying response to psychotherapy. Finally, we discuss integrative neuroimaging and treatment studies and potential opportunities for advancing the treatment of adolescent addictive behaviors.

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