Hi there, we are neurotransmitters traveling down the fast slopes of the Central Nervous System. Think of us as downhill skiers on the BRAIN POWER team; chemical messengers who zig, zag, and swoosh down the slope of your spinal cord sending messages between your brain and each part of your body.
Blink your eyes! Jump up and down! Digest that apple! Pull back from that hot stove! Duck when that paper airplane is headed straight for your noggin! These actions and more are the results of us neurotransmitter speeders shooting down your body at record speed. And because your brain will continue to grow through your middle school and teen years, it’s important that our slopes remain powdery white and free of debris so that your actions and reactions keep your body healthy, growing and strong. We want to keep our course moving at black diamond speed!
When you decide to drink alcohol, that is like putting a snow drift right in our path! We have to slow down to bunny slope speed so that our skis don’t get damaged and we stay on course. When we slow down, our messages get delayed in being delivered to you, which means that you might be clumsier than usual, your speech may become slurred and your reaction time is reduced—leaving you vulnerable to falls and injuries. The more alcohol that is ingested, the more obstacles are placed on our course. This is not good for team BRAIN POWER! There may even be a time when we WIPE OUT on the slope—the message we are carrying becomes completely lost—and you could lose a memory or two during the time that your body is impaired by alcohol.
As you can see, it’s important that you make the decision to say YES to a healthy lifestyle and NO to underage drinking. This way, we can zoom through the body without having to pop moguls or slalom out of control. If someone asks YOU to drink before you are 21 years old, make the best decision for your growing brain and body and say NO. After all, you are part of the BRAIN POWER team too! Your parents and teachers are also members—so you can always turn to them if you have questions or know of someone who might need some help.
For more about the central nervous system, you can watch our video and remember to test your knowledge with this quick quiz!