Psychologist Draws Parallel Between Underage Drinking and Brain Injury

A Connecticut psychologist says that one of the greatest threats to the still-developing adolescent brain (i.e., generally the teenage years) is alcohol abuse. Chris Brown maintains that during adolescence, “the brain has difficulty handling emotions, seeks high excitement/low effort activities, and has poor planning and judgment skills. That combination leads to a cycle in which impulsive decisions to consume [alcohol] reduce inhibitions more and lead to increased impulsiveness and risk taking.” He adds that the chance of alcohol dependency decreases by 14% with each year a person waits to start drinking. He asks rhetorically, “Which part of your brain do you want to sacrifice to alcohol or drugs?” Browns adds that the brain receptors begin to shut down the earlier in life someone starts drinking, “meaning more and more alcohol is needed to cause the desired effect.”

The issue of teen drinking and binge drinking also unfortunately plays out on the roads of Indiana and around the nation, sometimes with fatal consequences. As we discussed in a previous posting about how to identify behaviors indicating that your high school-age child might be drinking, the typical teenager’s inexperience with the effects of alcohol, their fearless attitude towards real danger, and their lack of familiarity with the operation of the vehicle is a potent combination for real trouble. Intervention by parents and school officials may be able to avert a tragedy, either in the form of a highway accident, or a life wasted because of addiction.

If you or a family member have been injured in a car accident by a driver that operated a vehicle while impaired, regardless of that driver’s age, it is important to retain legal counsel with the experience and skills needed to obtain full compensation for your injuries. At Young and Young, we have
represented thousands of Hoosiers with serious auto accident injuries. We have more than 55 years of experience waiting to help.

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