Teens are wired to seek novel, exciting experiences and take risks. All too often, that leads to experimentation with drugs and alcohol. The teen brain is especially sensitive to the effects of alcohol, increasing the odds that a teen will binge drink or experience blackouts. While adolescents eventually “age out” of these sensitivities, new research shows the effects of binge drinking extend well beyond the teen years, with alterations in the brain and behavior. Donita L. Robinson and Bonnie Nagel discuss the neurobiology of the adolescent brain and the persistent effects of binge drinking.
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