Alcohol is the most commonly used drug among youth in the United States. Despite common misconceptions that alcohol is less harmful than other drugs, drinking alcohol at a young age can have many negative consequences. One lesser known harm of underage drinking is the impact of alcohol on the developing brain. Research shows that our brains continue to develop until we reach our mid-twenties and alcohol use while the brain is still developing can interfere with healthy brain development. Specifically, it can damage the areas of the brain responsible for learning and memory, self-control, and decision making. Significantly, alcohol use before the age of 21, increases your child’s risk of developing alcohol dependence.
As parents and guardians, it is important to understand the impact drinking alcohol can have on our children. Dr. Ruth Potee spoke to parents in Milton about the teenage brain and how alcohol and other drugs interfere with healthy brain development.
Watch Dr. Potee presentation to parents, titled “Under Construction: The Teenage Brain.”