Hoelscher Gebbia, PLLC
Call
210-570-9902 | 866-608-9939
For Criminal Defense Or Family Law Representation

The serious effects of alcohol on the teenage brain

As teenagers, people quickly discover newfound freedoms and the ability to make their own choices rather than relying on parents for rules. For some, making decisions is tough and even against the law in some cases. To legally consume alcohol in Texas, people must be at least 21 years of age, but many opt to experiment with alcohol earlier. What they may not understand is the serious effects that alcohol can have on the developing teenage brain.

Know the stages of brain development

Parts of the brain mature at different times, and it continues to develop throughout the mid-20s. During the teenage years, brain development causes drastic changes in the physiology, wiring and structure of the brain. Changes like this can affect anything from judgment to emotionality to sexuality.

The brain's limbic system is responsible for regulating emotions and may lower a teenager's risk sensitivity. The limbic system develops before the frontal lobes, which control reasoning, problem-solving, self-regulations, impulse control and judgment. This often means that teenagers make risky decisions with hefty consequences before the brain is developed enough to stop them.

The ways alcohol can change brain development

As a depressant of the central nervous system, alcohol has strong effects on the developing brain in several different ways. Because it suppresses the section of the brain that controls and regulates inhibitions, it may also be considered a stimulant at times.

  • Cerebral cortex - The cerebral cortex controls information from the senses, and alcohol may slow it down.
  • Central nervous system - Consisting of the spinal cord and brain, the central nervous system sends signals to the rest of the body when it wants something done. This can include speaking and thinking, which are both affected by the slowing down of the central nervous system by alcohol.
  • Frontal lobes - Ideas are formed, decisions are made, self-control is focused and the body plans with the help of the frontal lobes, and alcohol can make it difficult for a person to control urges and emotions. This may result in violent or irrational behavior. Extensive drinking over several years may alter the frontal lobes forever.

Alcohol in a developing brain can also affect the cerebellum, medulla, hypothalamus and hippocampus, and alcohol is a factor in far too many drunk driving accidents involving teens.

Get a fresh start

Any teenager who has been caught drinking or driving under the influence and wants the best chance at a fresh start should consult with an attorney today to discuss options.

Hoelscher Gebbia PLLC advises and represents juveniles in San Antonio and the surrounding areas.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Our Clients Are Our Top Priority

Call 210-570-9902 | 866-608-9939

Lawyer.com Verified Best SA Scene 2015 Best SA Scene 2014 Best SA Scene 2012 Texas Bar College Client Distinction Award Expertise

Hoelscher Gebbia, PLLC
3030 Nacogdoches, Suite 222G
San Antonio, TX 78217

Toll Free: 866-608-9939
Toll Free: 866-608-9939
Phone: 210-570-9902
Phone: 210-570-9902
Fax: 888-519-8229
San Antonio Law Office Map

Put Our Experience And Resources On Your Side

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy