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Brain Damage and Alcohol
Posted by The Breathalyzer Team on 9/26/2011 to General Information
Breathalyzers are not only useful in determining how much alcohol is in your system. They can also be used to help prevent underage drinking. As adults it’s a common consensus that teenagers are going to drink and the best that parents can do is at least teach them how to be smart about it. Aside from the obvious reasons, there is more damage being done then people realize. Which is why ensuring your child isn’t drinking is imperative.

Recent studies from the National Institute Of Mental Health show that brain development continues well into the 20’s. The frontal and temporal lobes have yet to develop in adolescents. This area of the brain is critical for learning, impulse control, judgment, planning, risk assessment and decision-making. Binge drinking at young ages can cause permanent damage to these areas including a dramatic difference to personality and behavior, becoming more impulsive.

While more research needs to be done, scientists from Duke University claim adolescents are more vulnerable then adults to the affects of alcohol on learning and memory. Repeated use is known to cause long-term effects. Researchers at Brown have shown that alcohol use by adolescents can impair brain functioning; even weeks after teens have stopped drinking, they still showed cognitive impairments.

Brain imaging studies in teens and young adults who drank heavily have shown shrinkage in the area responsible for memory and learning.

The early onset of binge drinking not only affects the teenagers at the time of usage, but heavy drinking can prevent teenagers from growing to their full capable size, as alcohol can interfere with muscle and bone growth, not to mention osteoporosis later in life.

According to Statistics from health Canada the average age alcohol is first consumed is 15. The tender age in which the frontal lobe is developing. A study conducted under the National Survey of Canadians determined that 13.8% of teenagers between the ages of 15-and up reported heavy drinking on a weekly basis. 35.7% admitted to heavy drinking on a monthly basis and over the past year 71.2% admitted to heavily drinking.

So among the common risks of drinking including liver difficulties, pancreatic issues, and rheumatoid arthritis, brain damage is a major concern associated with drinking. As mentioned earlier, binge drinking at a young age could permanently prevent the brain from developing to its full capacity. Not to mention the area of the brain that is affected by alcohol is the very same area that is needed to achieve and control abstinence.

If brain damage wasn’t enough, 20.9% admitted to driving while under the influence while 32.5% of youth reported having been a passenger with someone under the influence. So even if your child is not among the 90.8% who admitted to using alcohol in their lifetime, what if they got in the car with someone who is? Having a breathalyzer on hand may not only deter your child, but maybe their friends as well.

1 in 3 youth reported that their drinking caused harm to themselves and to others at some point in their lives. Among that 1 in 5, admitted that their drinking caused harm within the last year.

Having a breathalyzer not only deters them drinking, it also makes it easy to say no. When peer pressure becomes an issue, sometimes it may be difficult to say no this gives them the ability to deflect the current and any future situation.

Having a reliable breathalyzer like the BacTrack S75 may be just enough to prevent your child from underage drinking. It comes with disposable mouth pieces to test not just your child but their friends too.

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