Talk it Out
March 4, 2016
To help parents further understand the health dangers of underage drinking, Governor Pat McCrory called on the state’s top researchers to present a report on alcohol’s impact on the adolescent brain.
The report, “Alcohol & The Adolescent Brain: Immediate Impairment, Long-Term Consequences,” covers the development of the adolescent brain and how alcohol can greatly affect the maturation process.
According to Dr. Bill Wilson, who serves as Research Professor of Prevention Science at Duke University’s Social Science Research Institute, “Adolescent brains are not the same as adult brains. Their brains aren’t broken—they’re a work in progress. It becomes the job of responsible adults in kids’ lives to help provide the restraint that their own brains often can’t.”
The report was delivered to Governor McCrory at the end of January and was presented publicly at the Governor’s Task Force on Substance Abuse and Underage Drinking Prevention meeting on February 10. Detailing scientific findings emphasizing why underage drinking is a serious issue, the report shows the adolescent brain is less sensitive to the sedating factors of alcohol than the adult brain, which allows kids to continue drinking past their limits, resulting in potentially devastating short- and long-term consequences. Some of these consequences include:
- Unwanted sexual activity
- Driving while intoxicated
- Stunting development in key areas of the brain responsible for memory processing and critical decision- making process
“There’s much work to be done to shift this culture (of underage drinking), and this report will be a valuable resource as we continue our efforts through the Talk It Out campaign to educate parents on this important issue,” said Jim Gardner, Chairman of the NC ABC Commission.
This article was posted with permission from talkitoutnc.org.