Scholastic Lesson: Alcohol and Your Brain

Brain Drain

Did you know that scientists have found changes in brain cells as little as six minutes after the consumption of alcohol? These changes can create permanent damage, especially in the teen brain. Because your brain isn’t fully formed, staying away from alcohol can help protect your developing brain.

alcohol affects your brain

Brain illustration: © John Bavosi/Science Source.

A Work in Progress

Adolescence is a time of rapid and dramatic development—teen girls can grow as much as 9.5 inches, and boys up to 20 inches. It’s important for teens to make healthy choices that support their developing bodies. Whether you want to excel at sports, attend college, get a great job, or travel the world, drinking alcohol while underage can rob you of the things you need to reach your goals.

What You Need

waterWATER

Why you need it: Water helps with digestion, circulation, and transportation of nutrients. It also energizes your muscles.

How alcohol interferes: Alcohol increases urine output and causes dehydration, making it more difficult to build muscle.

nutrientsNUTRIENTS

Why you need it: Vitamins and minerals boost the immune system, help organs work properly, and are necessary for growth and development.

How alcohol interferes:  Large amounts of alcohol can slow or stop the digestive process, robbing you of the vitamins and minerals needed for growth.

physical activityPHYSICAL ACTIVITY

Why you need it:  Regular exercise strengthens bones, protects the heart, boosts mood, and can help prevent diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

How alcohol interferes: Drinking can cause heart disease, mask depression, and contribute to weight gain, all of which impair physical activity.

sleepSLEEP

Why you need it: Sleep is key for overall health. It supports your attention, mood, physical health, and performance in school and sports.

How alcohol interferes: Alcohol can interfere with sleep patterns, preventing you from getting the sleep you need.

 

Download PDF for Teacher Instructions and Student Assessment.

How To Order

For more information about ordering materials contact (Enable JavaScript for Email)

email hidden; JavaScript is required
OR
Call
(202) 637-0077

Share This Page: