The findings of brain science of alcohol research can often be confusing. They’re also distorted.
Many news reports and groups warn us that any consuming alcohol by those under age 21 harms their brains. They tell us that early drinking can
Harm brain development.
Cause learning problems.
Lead to permanent brain damage.
Harm critical neurological development.
However, they never mention that this research is based on two sources. (1) One is rats that are fed large amounts of alcohol. (2) The other is people in treatment for alcohol and/or drug abuse.
The research does not examine the effects of light or moderate drinking on young people. Yet there is good evidence that such levels are not at all harmful.
For example, consider Greeks, Italians, French, Spaniards, Portuguese, Jews and many other groups. They typically begin drinking at a very early age. And they drink often. Yet there is no evidence that these groups suffer any cognitive or other brain disability as a result.
Concern Over the Confusion
One of the leading neuroscientists in the U.S. is Dr. Harry Scott Swartzwelder at Duke University. He does major work on the effects of alcohol on the brain. Because of his expertise, he serves on review panels for the National Institute of Drug Abuse. Also for the National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse. And for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Dr. Swartzwelder is very concerned over the confusion and distortions about alcohol brain research findings. Therefore, he joined the board of directors of Choose Responsibility. That’s a group devoted to promoting reasoned discussion about how to reduce alcohol abuse among young people.
Resources: Brain Science of Alcohol Findings
- Reduce Underage Alcohol Abuse In Creative Ways: Here are Seven.
- Zero Tolerance for Underage Drinking Alcohol.
- Underage Drinking is Not a Problem (If Not, What Is?)
- Laws Prohibiting Giving Alcohol to Underage People Evaluated.
- Reducing Alcohol-Related Problems: What We can Learn from Others.
- Teen View on Reducing Alcohol Abuse (We Can Learn from T.
- Underage Drinking Problems and Solutions: What Works.
- Reducing Underage Alcohol Abuse (How to Do It).
- The Drinking Age Issue.
- Teach Your Children Alcohol Moderation.
- Genetics and Early Age of Drinking.
- Under-Age Drinking Laws: Legal in Most States in US.
- Early First Drink of Alcohol and Later Problems.
- Underage Drinking Statistics.
- Early Puberty Predicts Early Alcohol Drinking.
- This site gives no advice. Thus, it gives none about the brain science of alcohol.