You have the power to choose not to drink.
There are many good reasons why you should NOT drink alcohol. Here are some facts for you to use so you can make good choices. Think about how you really want to be in the world. When you’re true to yourself, you can shine in whatever you do and be the person you really want to be. Take some time to look over the facts and see how underage drinking can have serious physical and emotional effects on your life.
First let’s start with the brain. What makes you, you, primarily lies in your brain. How you think about things, perceive the world, and how your brain keeps your body healthy, all contribute to your unique qualities. Drinking can disrupt this. The different parts of the brain—and your brain is still developing—can be adversely affected by alcohol. And if you start drinking young, these effects can be permanent.
The CEREBRAL CORTEX is the outer layer of the cerebrum. It’s responsible for your memory, attention, perception, awareness, thought, language, and consciousness. You don’t want to mess with this. But by consuming alcohol, these functions can slow down.
The FRONTAL LOBE is one of the major lobes of the cerebral cortex. It’s responsible for your motor skills. It also gives you your conscience which informs you on what’s good and bad, right and wrong. Think of it as your BFF for all good life decisions! 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 affects this functioning. Drinking, hunger and thirst may increase while the heart rate decreases.
The HIPPOCAMPUS is responsible for your memory. Drinking disrupts short- and long-term memory. It can make it harder to learn in school and remember important things. Sometimes people can’t remember what they did while drinking, like sending text messages or posting things on Snapchat. Yikes!
The CEREBELLUM controls your coordination, speech, balance and movements. Drinking can make it harder to control these things. This is why people who have consumed alcohol slur their speech and stumble. Those problems, which we all associate with being drunk, show that alcohol has literally and fairly immediately, disrupted the drinker’s brain functions. It’s not a pretty sight.
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. It can also result in respiratory failure meaning people overcome by alcohol can just stop breathing.
All these brain functions make you you.
Drinking at a young age can have a long-lasting, negative impact. You probably don’t realize that your first experience with alcohol consumption can have a negative effect that can last for years. In fact, because your body is still developing well into your teenage years, alcohol can actually create permanent damage that could seriously compromise your 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.
How drinking alcohol can mess you up:
Missed learning opportunities
Impaired social/mental development
Drinking & driving