The Teenage Drinking Brain
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The Teenage Drinking Brain

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The Teenage Drinking Brain

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The Teenage Drinking Brain

Write “ALCOHOL” on your Building Resiliency page and write the notes as directed throughout the PowerPoint. (The slides will tell you when to write something down).


Alcohol affects a teen brain differently than a mature adult brain. The brain goes through rapid development and “wiring” changes during the ages of 12 and early 20s.

Areas of the brain that are effected by teenage drinking…

Prefrontal Cortex: Responsible for planning, decision making, good judgment and impulse control *Undergoes the most changes during adolescence. Hippocampus: Involved in memory and learning.


Types of Drinking

Ritual drinking—religious, traditional, etc

Social drinking—only with othersAlcoholism—2 or more drinks dailySolo drinking—drinking aloneBinge drinking—4/5 drinksMost deadly typeWhat is the typical teenage drinking style?


Add to your notes—Notes section…right after tobacco notes (Building Resiliency) page: :


Is the most typicalTeenage drinking style…(4-5 drinks…the most deadly type of drinking)


Alcohol, which acts as a depressant, slows down brain activity and hinders development.

Is alcohol considered a drug?


Is alcohol considered a drug?

Of course!!!!! It is ETHANOL.


Add to your notes:

Common, everyday products make up alcohol

Grapes make wineGrains make beer (wheat, barley)



Why doesn’t wheat mixed with water turn out to be beer?

Why can anyone drink grape juice and not have it be wine?



They have to be cooked (heated) or aged (fermented– sit around for a while)

Then the liquid changes to ETHANOL



Fermentation---sitting around over time.


Think and Discuss:

What is the drug added to alcohol products that makes it addictive?


Add to Notes:

No drug is added to alcoholic beverages. The liquid itself changes, and becomes a depressant.

Depressant: Slows down body functions, reaction time, etc.It becomes ETHANOL.



What two processes turns the liquid into ETHANOL?

What is the addictive drug in tobacco?


ALCOHOL AND JUDGMENT- The teenage brain is still developing. Alcohol can impair the parts of the brain that control the following…

Motor Coordination

: The ability to talk, drive, and process informationImpulse Control: Drinking lowers inhibitions and increases the chances that a person will do something they will regret when they are sober.Memory: Impaired recollection and even blackouts can occur when too much alcohol has been consumed.

Judgment and decision-making capacity:

Drinking may lead young people to engage in risky behaviors; including getting into a car with someone who has been drinking. These behaviors result in illness, injury, and even death.


More effects… Not just on the brain…


Children who start drinking before age 15 are 12 times more likely to be injured while under the influence of alcohol and 10 times more likely to be in a fight after drinking, compared with those who wait to drink until they are 21.School Failure: Teens who use alcohol have higher rates of academic problems and poor performance than non drinkers. Promiscuity: Alcohol use by teens is a strong predictor of unprotected sexual activity and unwanted sexual advances.


More effects… Not just on the brain…

Illicit drug use:

More than 67 percent of young people who start drinking before the age of 15 will try an illicit drug. Children who drink are 7.5 times more likely to use an illicit drug, more than 22 times likely to use marijuana and 50 times more likely to use cocaine than children who never drink.Nutrition: Alcohol has calories, but has no nutritional value. Alcohol does not have to be digested; approx. 20% of the alcohol is absorbed into the blood from the stomach, while the other 80% is absorbed in the small intestines. After absorption, alcohol is found in all body tissues, organs, and secretions.


FACT: _____ percent of all traffic deaths are caused by alcohol


45% of all traffic deaths are caused by alcohol.


Alcohol Metabolism

Liver can metabolize about 1 drink every hour.

Does the typical teenage drinking style have 1 drink every hour? Probably not.


Designated Driver

A clever way to make more money AND seem like you’re fixing the drunk driving problem


FACT: Alcohol kills _______percent more teenagers than all other drugs combined.


Write fact in notes:

FACT: Alcohol kills 650% more teenagers and all other drugs combined.

Hmmm….that’s another reason why it is illegal for teenagers to drink!


Add to Notes:

Why do you choose not to drink alcohol

? Make a list of at least 5 reasons…


Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a condition that results from alcohol exposure during pregnancy.

Problems that may be caused by FAS are:

physical deformities, mental retardation,learning disorders,vision difficulties, and behavioral problems. The problems caused by fetal alcohol syndrome vary from child to child, but defects caused by fetal alcohol syndrome are irreversible.

There is no amount of alcohol that's known to be safe to consume during pregnancy.