Know the facts

Why is alcohol bad for kids

The brain is still developing into one’s twenties. That’s why it’s so important for kids to wait to drink until they’re older. Alcohol also depresses the part of the brain that control inhibitions. This can lead to your child making bad decisions that can have dangerous consequences. Listed below are the different parts of the brain and how they’re affected by alcohol.

The CEREBRAL CORTEX is the outer layer of the cerebrum. It’s responsible for memory, attention, perception, awareness, thought, language, and consciousness. Consuming alcohol slows these functions down. This can have an affect on you child’s ability to perform in school.

The FRONTAL LOBE is one of the major lobes of the cerebral cortex. It’s responsible for your child’s motor skills. It also gives them their consciousness which informs them on what’s right and wrong. The consumption of alcohol makes it harder to control urges and emotions. Habitual drinking can damage this area permanently.

The HYPOTHALAMUS is the part of the brain that controls the nervous system and regulates sleep and emotional activity. Drinking negatively affects this functioning—hunger and thirst will increase while the heart rate decreases.

The HIPPOCAMPUS is mainly responsible for memory. Drinking disrupts short- and long-term memory which can make it harder for your child to learn in school and remember important things.

The CEREBELLUM controls coordination, speech, balance, awareness, thoughts and movements. A loss of balance or shaky hands are a result of the effects of alcohol on the cerebellum.

The MEDULLA controls respiration and circulation as well as the body’s temperature. Drinking alcohol lowers the body’s temperature which can be dangerous and result in hypothermia.

Drinking at a young age can have a long-lasting, negative impact. Because the mind and body are still developing well into one’s twenties, alcohol can actually create permanent damage that could seriously compromise your child's abilities as an adult. Here are some facts to consider:

Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug by youth in the US.
51% of youth say that a friend got the alcohol for them or bought it for them.
86% of youth say they drink in their own or someone else’s home.
Alcohol use is strongly associated with suicide ideation.
Alcohol related costs in New Mexico total more than $243 million per year.

Drinking can result in:

School suspensions/expulsions
Missed learning opportunities
Impaired social/mental development
Academic failure
Psychological/emotional problems
Victimization
Drinking & driving