“Adolescence and emerging adulthood are periods of significant brain growth and development. Scientists call the adolescent brain highly ‘neuroplastic’ because it is a time of organising, construction and strengthening of connections in the brain.
Alcohol is a depressant which is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. It can affect the brain within five minutes of consumption (absorption may be slower if the person has recently eaten).
Drinking, particularly heavy drinking, at any time before, during and after brain development, can have a negative effect on the way the brain works.
Early alcohol use may interrupt cell growth in the frontal lobe of the brain, an area which does not reach full maturity until a person reaches their mid-twenties. The frontal lobe of the brain controls higher mental processes such as planning. Drinking alcohol interferes with brain development and harms can include poor attention, poor decision making and disrupts the ability to forward plan – impacting on mental health and educational performance and completion.”
Find more from NSW Health´s Your Room (Australia, 2020)