3 ways alcohol affects the teenage brain

On Behalf of | Mar 24, 2017 | DUI Defense |

While alcohol is considered a depressant in that it may cause unsteady movements, slurred speech, the inability to react quickly and disturbed perceptions, it can also be used for stimulant effects. Often, alcohol is used to help a person loosen up or relax and may suppress the parts of the brain that inhibit reactions. Once too much alcohol is consumed, the depressant effects start. This can have a negative effect on any person, and it may cause you to do things you would never do, like get behind the wheel of a car when you are under the influence.

Alcohol affects every person in different ways. Because every brain is unique, the effects of alcohol are different for every single person. In its worst form, addiction to alcohol can lead to permanent brain damage that affects your ability to function and live a successful life. While alcohol can be hard enough on the adult brain, the effects may reach much further in an adolescent or teenage brain.

1. Central nervous system

The central nervous system controls everything your brain tells your body to do. The CNS consists of the spinal cord and the brain. Once your brain wants to do something, it tells your body to react and sends signals to the appropriate part of the body. If alcohol is in the body, it may slow down the CNS and inhibit your ability to speak and think, and cause you to move slower, which can be particularly harmful if you are driving.

2. Frontal lobes

The frontal lobes of the brain are used to form ideas, use self-control, plan and make important decisions. Alcohol affects the frontal lobes by increasing violence and making it harder to control urges and emotions. If alcohol is used regularly over a long period, the damage to the frontal lobes may be permanent.

3. Hippocampus


The hippocampus creates and stores memories inside the brain. If alcohol makes it to the hippocampus, it can be hard to remember recent events, even something as simple as a phone number or a name. If too much alcohol is consumed in one evening, then you may blackout and forget a huge period. If alcohol causes permanent damage to the hippocampus, the memory may be affected forever.

Your future in your hands

If you are a teenager who made the choice to drink and ended up behind the wheel of a car, you may be facing serious charges that affect your life. To protect your future, you want to do what you can to avoid a criminal record. We encourage you to speak to an attorney today about your opt ions.

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