Compared to adults there can be a difference in the behaviour and side effects seen in teenagers when they drink alcohol because teenager’s brains are still developing which can result in negative effects in the short and long-term.
When young people drink alcohol they can experience short-term effects. These can include:
1. General impairment of ability.1
2. Increased risk taking 12
3. Mood changes1
There are long-term effects that can result from young people drinking alcohol,
Evidence has shown binge drinking can impact the white matter within the brain. White matter is responsible for passing information quickly through a nerve.3
It is recommended that for under 18's, no alcohol is the safest choice.
1 White J. Adolescence, Alcohol and Brain Development, What is the impact on well-being and learning? [Presentation] Drug and Alcohol Services, South Australia.
2 Directorate for Education and Human Resources of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Alcohol and your brain. [online] 2013 [cited 2013 Jan 14]. Available from: http://sciencenetlinks.com/student-teacher-sheets/alcohol-and-your-brain/
3 Hickie IB, Whitwell BG. (2009). Alcohol and The Teenage Brain: Safest to keep them apart. BMRI Monograph 2009-2. Brain & Mind Research Institute, Sydney.
4Bava S, Tapert S. (2010). Adolescent Brain Development and the Risk for Alcohol and Other Drug Problems. Neuropsychology review 2010; 20(4):398-413.
Call the Alcohol and Drug Support Line on (08) 9442 5000 or 1800 198 024 toll free for country callers.
For emergencies call the 000 emergency line.