Is Alcohol Really Bad For Brain Development?

Published: March 16, 2020
Dear TeenHealthFX,
Is it true that drinking is bad for your brain development if you’re under 18?
Signed: Is Alcohol Really Bad For Brain Development?

Dear Is Alcohol Really Bad For Brain Development?,

Yes, drinking alcohol before the age of 18 is harmful for brain development. In fact, studies show that it is even harmful until the age of 25. This is because the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory, learning, and the prefrontal cortex responsible for judgement and impulse control are not fully developed until about the age of 25.


As a result, using alcohol or other drugs can negatively impact your brain development, sometimes even permanently. DrugFreeWorld explains how alcohol and other drugs can harm your brain and future. When the prefrontal cortex does not fully develop or is damaged from alcohol and drug use, it puts teens at greater risk for participating in risky behaviors such as drunk driving, unsafe sex, and other dangerous or illegal activities. In addition, as a result of the hippocampus being damaged, it results in teens not doing as well in school and developing problems in retaining/recalling memories

Signed: TeenHealthFX