When teens drink, alcohol affects their brains in the short-term, and repeated drinking can also have an impact on the brain down the road, especially as it grows and develops.
Short-Term Consequences of Intoxication (being “drunk”):
- An intoxicated person has a harder time making good decisions. They also have impaired motor coordination.
- A person is less aware that his/her behavior may be inappropriate or unsafe.
- A person has a greater risk of being injured from falls or vehicle crashes.
- A person may be more likely to engage in unsafe behavior, including drinking and driving, unsafe sexual behavior (like unprotected sex) and aggressive or violent behavior.
- A person is less likely to recognize potential danger.
Long-Term Consequences as the Teen Brain Develops:
- Research suggests that drinking during the teen years could interfere with normal brain development and change the brain in ways that:
- Have negative effects on information processing and learning.
- Increase the risk of developing alcohol use disorder later in life.