This article presents a re-conceptualization of moderate adolescent drug use. It is argued that experimentation with alcohol and other drugs during the teenage years may play an important role in the development of regulatory competency in relation to drug consumption in adulthood. When such regulatory skills fail to emerge in young people, during the transition to adulthood, the likelihood of serious alcohol- or drug-related harm is increased. The article reviews the empirical evidence of poor self-regulation as a predictor of long-term alcohol-and drug-related problems, places self-regulation within a broader theoretical framework, and considers the policy and practice implications of this conceptualization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology