Early Alcohol and Drug Habits May Damage Teenage Brains

It is very important for teens to know what drugs and alcohol can do to their brains. Despite the numerous campaigns against these substances, the problem of drug and alcohol abuse continues to grow.

effects of drugs and alcohol on teen's brainIn a study done by the researchers from the National Institute of Mental Health using magnetic resonance imaging, it was found out that the brain reaches its vital development stages during the teenage years. This is when the frontal lobes, which directs decision-making, emotion, self-control, judgment, and processing consequences, goes into a lot of changes until it reaches full development.

Dr. Aaron White from the Duke University Medical Center explains that a teenager’s brain is not comparable to that of an adult. “Available research suggests that adolescents are more vulnerable than adults to the effects of alcohol on learning and memory.”

It has been noted that an adolescent’s brain is clearly more susceptible to the effects of alcohol and drugs which could lead to abnormalities due to tissue and nerve damages.

Teenagers should realize that taking alcohol at their age could cause irreversible damages to the brain. While it may be true that more and more kids are hooked on drinking and that alcohol remains the top drug of choice amongst US teens, children should be equipped with the necessary ammunition to resist the temptation of alcohol in their lives.

As the brain continues to grow, teenagers will find it hard to make the right decisions. If the element of alcohol or drugs is added, the brains capacity to process logical and more reasonable decisions will be overpowered thus results to risky behaviors and decisions of teenagers.

Dr. Judith Newman puts an interesting analogy into the discussion of brain development. “The teenage brain is like a Ferrari: It’s sleek, shiny, sexy, and fast, and it corners really well. But it also has really crappy brakes.”

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