Teenager’s Brain on Alcohol
Chris Otto, Pastor of Students and Worship, Authentic Life Fellowship
is something that has become commonplace in our society, and at times,
even winked upon by some. Sadly, what is viewed by many as a “right
of passage” is a dangerous path filled with very real pitfalls.
The impact alcohol has on a teenager’s brain is immense and has
compounding effects that can cause serious problems in adulthood.
Alcohol has a significant impact on a teen’s brain physically. One
area of the brain researchers have discovered tends to be affected the
most is the prefrontal area of the brain. This is responsible for thinking,
planning, good judgment, decision making and impulse control. Researchers
have discovered recently that alcohol use by teenagers could cause extensive
change in this area of the brain altering future personality and behavior
traits as an adult. Many times the damage alcohol afflicts during this
formative time is long term and irreversible.
Another area of the teenage brain greatly affected by alcohol is the area
of the brain involved in learning and memory storage, or the hippocampus.
The hippocampus is most related to alcohol induced brain damage in teens.
Alcohol attacks the memory center of the brain and stunts growth in information
storage. Teenage drinking could be likened to a computer virus in the
student’s brain. Alcohol slows down brain activity, reduces formation
of mature brain wiring, and increases the likelihood of alcohol addiction
as an adult.
You might ask, “How can I help prevent this?”
Here are some quick suggestions:
*set clear rules about underage drinking with your teen
*know where your teen is and who they are with
*get to know your teenager’s friends
*ensure your teen’s surrounding are alcohol free
*have positive communication with your teenager
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