The teen brain

New discoveries about adolescent brain development have opened up fresh ways of thinking about teen behavior, and offer new insight into how parents can help their teens understand the risks of drugs and alcohol.

For instance:

  • Scientific evidence reveals that the brain is fully mature at about age 25 — much later than previously believed.
  • One of the last areas of the brain to develop is the prefrontal cortex. This is the part of the brain that is responsible for processing information, making judgments, controlling impulses, and foreseeing consequences.

This research sheds new light on the major risks of teenage substance use, including the possibility of causing permanent damage to the developing brain.