New findings about adolescent brain development have opened up ways of thinking about teen behavior, and offer new insight into how parents can help teens understand the risks of drugs and alcohol. For instance:
Scientific evidence reveals that the brain isn’t fully mature until about age 25. The younger a person is when they begin using alcohol or other drugs, the more likely they will become dependent on that drug.
One of the last areas of the brain to develop is the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for processing information, making judgments, controlling impulses, and foreseeing consequences.
The NIAAA presents evidence-based information about risky drinking patterns, the alcohol content of drinks, and the signs of an alcohol problem, along with information about medications and other resources to help people who choose to cut back or quit drinking. The site also features interactive tools, such as calculators for measuring alcohol calories and drink sizes.
An initiative of the North Dakota University System, advocates for stronger prevention policies, collaborates in campus-community partnerships, and assists members of the consortium to develop assessment-based prevention programs.
**NDSCS ATOD Prevention Team. (2017). NDSCS Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Survey Report. Wahpeton, ND: ND Higher Education Consortium for Substance Abuse Prevention.
North Dakota Parents LEAD
Parents LEAD is a program designed to be a resource for parents and includes tips for starting the conversation, handling questions from children and suggestions for prevention measures that are effective for children at their individual developmental stages.
Please see the North Dakota Parents LEAD (Listen, Educate, Ask, Discuss) website for more information on how to start this conversation.
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