When teens drink, alcohol affects their brains in the short-term – but repeated drinking can also impact it down the road, especially as their brains grow and develop.
Short-Term Consequences of Intoxication (being “drunk”):
An intoxicated youth has a harder time making good decisions.
- A youth is less aware that his/her behavior may be inappropriate or risky.
- A youth may be more likely to engage in risky behavior, including drinking and driving, sexual activity (like unprotected sex) and aggressive or violent behavior.
- A youth is less likely to recognize potential danger.
- The likelihood a “blackout” occurs.
- Alcohol Poisoning induced by binge drinking may occur.
Long-Term Consequences of Alcohol Use on the Developing Teen Brain:
Research shows that drinking during the teen years can interfere with normal brain development and change the brain in ways that:
- Have negative effects on information processing and learning.
- Increase the risk of developing an alcohol use disorder later in life.
Watch this video which explains the affect of alcohol on the teen brain. Video
For information on how to speak to younger children about alcohol click here.