Binge drinking among youth linked to changes in the brain

by binge drinking were also found to put young people at an increased risk for developing an alcohol use disorder in the future — and likely there are other unknown, long-term issues linked to excessive alcohol use among youth, Cservenka explained.

“We are still trying to understand how binge and heavy drinking affect the adolescent brain long-term,” she said. “Thus, more longitudinal studies are needed to understand how binge and heavy drinking during a period of active brain maturation will affect the adult brain and neurocognition.”

Despite the many detrimental consequences, binge drinking remains a big issue among teens and young adults — Cservenka highlighted studies that show that roughly 25 percent of American high-school seniors have reported consuming alcohol to a point of complete intoxication within the previous month.

“Heavy alcohol use increases significantly during the adolescent period when brain maturation is still underway,” she added. “Knowing this information is critical for intervention efforts aimed at reducing binge drinking in adolescents and prevention efforts aimed at reducing the initiation of heavy alcohol use during adolescence.”