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Alcohol and Young Children

Alcohol Damages Adolescent Brain Function

The adolescent brain is designed to learn. Alcohol, however, disrupts the adolescent brain''s ability to learn life skills. So, not only can heavy drinking during this time get the adolescent into trouble through behavior such as risk taking or drinking and driving, but it can also make the brain less able to learn important life skills that can help one avoid trouble as an adult."

Research has taught us the following about alcohol and the brain:

  • Because of the chemical make-up of the adolescent brain, it more vulnerable than the adult brain to permanent brain damage from activities such as binge drinking.
  • Research has identified subtle brain changes occurring among adolescents with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), resulting in a decreased ability in problem solving, verbal and non-verbal retrieval, and working memory.
  • There is an association between antisocial behavior during adolescence and alcoholism.
  • Alcohol-induced memory impairments, such as "blackouts," are particularly common among young drinkers and may be at least in part due to disrupted nerve function in the brain.

Excessive drinking as a teen will certainly cause all sorts of brain malfunctions in adolescents and then later as adults.