Emotional areas of the brain mature before the frontal cortex (which helps to manage impulse control). This is the reason for adolescent thrill-seeking, risky decision-making, and recklessness.
Due to the immaturity of the frontal cortex, adolescents are more responsive to the promise of rewards and threats (especially social threats), than adults. They also place more importance on short-term rewards over future benefits.
This “brain imbalance” is the reason adolescents prioritize their peers’ opinions and why they are more likely to react without considering the consequences.
Alcohol slows down brain activity, and the negative effect of alcohol lasts longer in a teenager’s brain than in an adult’s (up to two weeks).
When a teenager uses alcohol, they risk the normal development of good judgment and impulse control.
Underage drinking can also damage the memory and learning areas of the brain.
Underage Drinking: Short-Term Impairment
Adolescents are less sedated by alcohol than adults.
Alcohol reduces “social anxiety” more so in adolescents than adults.
These factors make adolescents more likely to binge drink than adults.
Alcohol affects learning and interferes with other “brain health” behaviors, undoing the benefits of good health habits.
Binge drinking in adolescents leads to negative consequences such as blackouts (loss of memory from the event), unplanned and unwanted sexual activity, fights, accidents, and driving after consuming alcohol.
Underage Drinking: Long-term Consequences
Underage drinking inhibits the process by which the hippocampus forms new cells.
Binge levels of alcohol consumption in adolescence can alter brain development and brain function.
Adolescent alcohol use increases the activation of brain signals that contribute to inflammation.
The younger someone starts drinking, the greater the chance they will misuse substances later in life.
Alcohol can cause specific changes in the brain that potentially increase the risk of alcohol-use problems.
How Alcohol Can Effect an Athlete
Alcohol can hurt your performance for up to 72 hours (about 3 days) after you consume alcohol causing you to react slower on the field
Chronic alcohol use can depress the immune system increasing risk of injury
Alcoholic drinks contain lots of empty calories therefore increasing fat
Regular Alcohol use can lead to difficulty processing and storing memories, which can affect your ability to learn plays or do well in school
Regular consumption of alcohol can damage long-term performance by causing muscle loss and weakness
Drinking to celebrate a big win slows down post-game recovery