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Effects of Substance Use on
Teen Brain Development
  • The brain goes through dynamic change during adolescence, and alcohol can seriously damage long- and short-term growth processes.  Frontal lobe development and the refinement of pathways and connections continue through the late teens or early twenties.

    Damage from alcohol at this time can be long-term and irreversible. In addition, short-term or moderate drinking impairs learning and memory far more in youth than adults.
    (From the American Medical Association website)

  • The feelings and impaired behavior that signal intoxication in the adult brain are delayed in the adolescent brain. This can lead to overconsumption and even alcohol poisoning which is potentially fatal.

  • An adolescent brain that is exposed to alcohol and other chemicals is more susceptible to depression and other mental illnesses.


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