The teen brain goes through a significant "wiring" period from the ages of 12-24. Research shows that alcohol use can harm this "wiring".
Alcohol acts like a computer virus in a teen brain that:
• Slows or shuts down brain activity
• Damages neuro-connections
• Negatively alters the brain’s pleasure-reward circuitry
• Decreases the ability to learn
• Hinders brain wiring that a teen needs to become a responsible, thoughtful adult.
SPECT images have shown that alcohol use affects the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus.
How to talk to your teen about alcohol:
Develop open and trusting communication. Open communication is your best form of protection when it comes to teen parenting.
Listen attentively, without interruption. Avoid interruptions like electronics, other siblings, etc. Maintain eye contact and use reflective listening skills.