The mission of the DeKalb Community PROMISE is to utilize all resources including data collections in the targeted communities to effectively provide prevention programs, effective intervention and/or treatment when appropriate and to reduce substance abuse among youth.
The human brain continues to grow into a person's early 20s. Drinking alcohol during that time can damage short and long-term brain growth and that damage can be permanent. And it's not just heavy drinking that can impact teens -- teens who drink half as much alcohol as adults can still suffer the same negative effects. Teens are more likely to suffer blackouts, memory loss, and alcohol poisoning from drinking, as well as to cause damage to their ability to remember things in the future. All parts of the growing brain are impacted negatively by alcohol, but the memory function is especially hard hit.
So, what impacts does that have on a teen? Well, adolescent drinkers perform worse in school, are more likely to fall behind and have an increased risk of social problems, depression, suicidal thoughts and violence. Also, because the brain (specifically, the regulation of the brain through serotonin, which provides balance and impulse control) becomes used to the use of alcohol, people who begin drinking in their teens are not only at greater risk for developing alcoholism sometime in their lives, they are also at greater risk for developing alcoholism more quickly and at younger ages, especially chronic, relapsing alcoholism.