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Alcohol and the adolescent brain

Scientists used to think that our brains had already reached their full potential by the time we were teenagers.

Science is now telling us something very different.

From the ages of 12-25 our brains are still going through important stages of development to prepare for the challenges of adulthood. Through a complex process, the brain grows and forms all the functions it needs for learning, memory, planning, emotional stability and thinking.

We now know that alcohol can disrupt brain development during this critical phase of growth. Teenagers who drink alcohol risk their brains not reaching full capacity, which means that they might never reach full potential as adults.

Have a look around on the Stereo Noggin to see the effect of alcohol on your brain.

Stereo Noggin


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Blackouts

Have you ever been unable to remember things you did after a night of drinking?

This is called a blackout. It means that the part of the brain that processes short term memory was seriously disrupted. These blackouts may mean you have caused short and long term harm to your memory, making it hard to learn and remember things in the future.

A few drinks might make it more difficult for you to learn a new person’s name, but several more drinks might make you completely forget that you met the person at all.

Of those 12-17 year olds who drink regularly, almost half have experienced loss of memory after drinking.

Watch the panel show


What do you do when someone has passed out?

Drinking and my brain
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From the ages of 12-25, our brains are still going through important stages of development to prepare for the challenges of adulthood.
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