Effects of Alcohol on the Adolescent Brain

Topics: Brain, Nervous system, Frontal lobe Pages: 4 (1292 words) Published: January 6, 2013
Effects of alcohol on the adolescent brain
The teenage brain it turns out is a brain still undergoing construction. To understand the risks associated with psychoactive substances in adolescents it helps to understand that teenagers are not just less experienced than adults they are undergoing an important yet challenging developmental stage in which that are prone to errors of judgment and sensitive to neurological assault by psychoactive substances. More than any other age group adolescents are at risk for substance addiction and more than any other age group they risk permanent intellectual and emotional damage due to the effects of drugs. The brain is sculpted by experience at birth, the brain contains many more neural connections than it could possible use but these connections are unspecialized and undeveloped. As time passes some connections are strengthened and others are pruned away.The process of refinement and pruning continues throughout childhood adolescence and even into early childhood. The most marked development in adolescence is in the brains frontal lobe and outer mantle. The pre-frontal cortex executes such skills as setting priorities formulating strategies, allocating attention and controlling impulses the outer mantle is involved with processing abstract information and understanding rules laws and codes of social interaction. The behaviors that accompany these changes are transparent. Teenagers are notorious for their obsession with social interaction for making up social rules and breaking them as teenagers grow into young adults they often exhibit a fascination with abstract thinking on topics like culture and media which demonstrates their growing ability to understand the larger world. Whole the teenage brain is in some ways ill equipped to make decisions and choices without the help of trusted adults it is perfectly designed for the types of intellectual and social challenges teenagers most need to master. Still development of...
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