Headlines > Boozing can damage young people’s brains permanently

Posted on December 15, 2016


Susana Mariz reports on how wasted teens are wasting their future
Teenagers that drink are likely to have less grey matter, which is an important brain structure that helps in memory, decisions and self-control. This is according to a recent study by the University of Eastern Finland. Furthermore, light drinkers have similar rates of anxiety, personality disorders and drug use as heavy drinkers.

Heavy drinkers are more likely to smoke cigarettes than light drinkers.

By stopping alcohol use it can increase the grey matter volume, if it is done early enough. “Teenage years are very important for brain development, and alcohol can tamper with this process,” said the author of the study, Noora Heikkinen.

According to Knowyourlimits, a website that gives you facts about alcohol, drinking from a young age can affect your body. It can cause mouth or throat cancer.

Samantha Brooks, a lecturer who studies the affects of drinking at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, says that if teens drink heavily when they are most sensitive, it may damage their brain. This can make their drinking worse and can cause other problems, like missing school or having unsafe sex.

Alchohelp, a charity that seeks to prevent alcohol abuse, says that 1,000 young people under the age of 15 are admitted to hospital each year with acute alcohol poisoning in England. All need emergency treatment and some die.

What I think
With the information I have gathered I am shocked with what is happening to my generation. It should make people think twice about what they are doing. Yes, we can have a drink but don’t get to that stage where you can’t look after yourself.

I know people that have become very drunk and who have not been able to go home alone. They ended up in hospital. Or there are other stories of young people that have become so drunk that they go home with a stranger who takes advantage of them.

Many teenagers are affected by peer-pressure. Their friends make them drink more when they don’t feel comfortable about the situation.

You don’t need to become paralytic to have fun with your friends, because if you end up drunk you don’t remember what happened the night before. Also, drinking too much alcohol could give you alcohol poisoning.

Don’t use drugs or alcohol to escape the problems you have. Talk to someone you trust, as they may be able to help. Our society is full of mixed messages. At Christmas the supermarkets are advertising all their special offers on booze yet, as I’ve discovered, it’s not all ‘good health’!

Susana Mariz
Susana Mariz is currently at Skills Training to improve her English and Maths grades. She is interested in media, especially in the digital and creative side. She also likes going out shopping with friends.


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