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“BINGE DRINKING: Short-Term Risk – Long-Term Consequences” “Nearly 20% of 12-20 year olds are now considered binge drinkers. According to the 2000 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, this represents approximately seven million kids under the age of 21.” “Students who frequently binge drink are 21 times more likely than non- binge drinkers to:” “Be injured” “Drive while drunk” “Experience trouble with campus/local police” “Engage in unplanned, unprotected sex” “Damage property” “Fall behind in coursework” “Miss class” “Impact on Brain Development” “It may come as a surprise to those who believe in the resiliency of youth, but binge drinking can seriously damage the adolescent brain and produce a wide range of long-term social and health problems.” “Adolescents under the age of 20, are still undergoing brain development. Up until age 16, new connections and pathways for processing information are being formed.” “From 16-20, the brain continues to mature requiring a healthy body to support the maturation process.” “Alcohol disrupts the development process, and the damage it can cause can be long-term and irreversible. Adolescent drinkers perform worse in school, and more likely to fall behind and have an increased risk of social problems, depression, suicidal thoughts and violence. The American Medial Association
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recently reported two key findings that provide insight into what happens to a teenager’s body when significant amounts of alcohol are consumed. Heavy adolescent drinkers have a 10% small hippocampus. This portion of the brain controls memory and learning. In addition, the frontal lobe of the brain, which undergoes the most change during adolescence, is damaged as well. The frontal lobe helps to control reasoning, speech, movement, emotions and problem-solving, and therefore plays a key role in the formation of personality.” “While binging can clearly have a dramatic effect on brain development, even moderate drinking can affect memory and learning among teens. Studies have shown that teens who use alcohol have lower scores on memory and vocabulary tests than non-drinkers.” “In 2000, 30% of drivers ages 15-20 who died in motor vehicle crashes had been drinking alcohol.” (“Binge Drinking,” The Youth Connection, July/August/2003, pg. 3-4) “WHAT REALLY KEEPS KIDS DRUG-FREE” “Not long ago the National Academy of Sciences created a big stir when it released a new study on underage drinking that slaps a $53 billion price tag on the problem (including $19 billion for auto accidents alone). That’s an amount ‘far exceeding the cost of youthful use of illegal drugs,’ according to the study report.” “So it’s a big problem, and lots of people think they have the ‘silver bullet’ that’ll kill it. Here’s a rundown of what really works, and what doesn’t.”
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This note was uploaded on 10/23/2007 for the course ACCT 370A taught by Professor Lu during the Fall '07 term at USC.

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