Adolescents

Parts of the brain are not finished maturing until one reaches their mid-20s. This includes parts of the brain responsible for concentration, decision-making, self-control, memory and emotional development. Because of this, it is important to know that consuming alcohol during the teen years (especially binge drinking) can slow down brain development and actually make regions of the brain smaller. Negative impacts on development can lead to the following problems:

  • Impaired concentration on school work
  • Decreased memory for events and people
  • Impaired judgment and increased risk-taking behaviors

Population surveys show that younger aged drinkers are up to four times more likely to have an alcohol problem later in life.

To minimize these risks, teens should delay drinking alcohol until they are at least 21 and never participate in binge drinking which is considered to be four or more standard drinks for women and five or more drinks for men in one day.

Download a pdf of our feature that ran in the Post & Courier

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Center for Drug & Alcohol Programs
MUSC
67 President Street
MSC 861
Charleston, SC
(843) 792-2727