Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What Makes Teens Tick

“Excessive drinking and substance use can temporarily impair mental abilities, but these effects may be longer lasting in adolescents. Teens who use alcohol or drugs heavily show delayed or incomplete development of frontal-brain regions responsible for regulating attention and decision-making; alcohol seems to be particularly detrimental to planning skills while pot affects memory.” TIME, November 1, 2010, p 20.

This statement is based on research due to be released in January, 2011 in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, vol. 35, No 1, 2011: pp 1-8.

For a more in depth review of what modern technology has taught us about the developing brain and how that research impacts our current policies and practices, see, "What Makes Teens Tick," TIME, September 28, 2008.

In a nutshell: Adolescence is a time of rapid maturation for the human brain. This process is influenced in large part by exposure and experience. For parents, this can mean the last bite at the apple to shape your child’s brain development. This is profoundly challenging when a teens’ natural reaction is to push back. One highly recommended course of action is seek out the other adults in your child’s life, form an alliance, and be armed with the facts. One fact is clear, alcohol can have an adverse affect on the developing teen brain.

Learn more, visit: 21 Reasons at: http://www.21reasons.org/; or Partnership for a Drug Free America at: http://www.drugfree.org/

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