The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has announced a large, longterm study that will help scientists to understand the effects of drugs on teens' developing brains.
The ABCD study will follow 10,000 volunteers over the course of ten years. Researchers will examine the affects that drugs have on brain development, explore the role between drug use and mental illness, and determine whether some drugs have a gateway effect.
The study comes at a critical times, when public policies toward marijuana are changing, and teens are binge drinking more often. Advances in brain imaging have made the study possible, according to NIDA.