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Science On Your Side

Is drinking alcohol a “rite of passage” in high school?  Is it important to “teach kids to drink responsibly” in high school?

NO.

Did you know that recent scientific research has found that…

  • the younger a person is when introduced to alcohol, the more likely he or she will be come addicted or develop behavioral and health problems;
  • 40% of individuals who began to drink alcohol before age 15 met criteria for alcohol dependence, while only 9% of those who waited until age 21 developed alcoholism;
  • the hippocampus, the brain region critical for forming new memories is particularly affected by alcohol use druing adolescence and young people who drink score worse than non-drinkers on memory and memory retrieval tests.

We, as parents, need to be aware, not only of the short-term troubles, but also of the long-term consequences of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use for our children. Our e-learning course “On-Line Parent’s Guide” and booklet, “A Parent’s Guide for the Prevention of Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Use” give us new scientific information about why our children should not drink, smoke or use other drugs AND teach us how to help them make their own decisions to keep themselves safe and healthy.

Is Science on Our Side? Is there scientific evidence that alcohol, tobacco and other drugs harm the development of adolescent’s brains?

YES.

Hear from the scientists themselves:

“Underage drinking has a huge effect on the education of our children. There is now clear scientific evidence that alcohol diminishes kids’ capacity for learning and memory, thus compromising their chances for educational success and future economic viability.” Scott Swartzwelder, Ph.D. Duke University

“Technology has advanced significantly even in the past 5 years, giving us methods to detect the effects of substance abuse in the brains of otherwise healthy young people, and this new information is critical for young people and parents to know so they can make the right choices.” Susan Tapert, Ph.D. University of California, San Diego

“Our basic cultural instincts tell us that young people should avoid the use of intoxicating substances, and now scientific research is affirming this by showing that adolescents’ brains are especially vulnerable to alcohol and other drugs.” Wilkie Wilson, Ph.D., Duke University

“Only recently has science recognized that the brain continues to develop and mature during adolescence. Previously we thought brain structure was fixed in the first few years of life; however, we now know that the adolescent brain is remodeling structurally in ways that may underlie complex human behaviors necessary for success in life.” Fulton Crews, Ph.D., University of North Carolina

Science has shown that marijuana use, especially by teenagers, interferes with learning and memory. Marijuana is many times more potent than it was 25 years ago, kids are using it at far younger ages and marijuana use leads more teenagers into drug treatment than all of the other drugs- including alcohol- combined. Robert DuPont, MD first Director of NIDA/Georgetown University