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The Teen Brain

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Presentation developed for the Traffic Safety Summit held in Dallas, TX 11.15.07. Gives a basic overview of the adolescent brain development and the effects of harmful substances (drugs and alcohol), especially in regards to driving.

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The Teen Brain

  1. 1. The Teen Brain Solving the Mystery of Adolescence Sarah Pahl, MSW Drug Prevention Resources, Inc. Drug Prevention Resources, Inc.
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Leading Research </li></ul><ul><li>Developmental Timeline </li></ul><ul><li>Effects of Harmful Substances </li></ul><ul><li>Implications for Teen Drivers </li></ul><ul><li>Keeping Teens Safe – Action Steps </li></ul>Drug Prevention Resources, Inc.
  3. 3. Adolescence Drug Prevention Resources, Inc.
  4. 5. Video <ul><li>Dr. Jay Giedd, National Institute of Mental Health </li></ul><ul><li>“ Inside the Teenage Brain” PBS Frontline http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/teenbrain/view/ </li></ul>Drug Prevention Resources, Inc.
  5. 6. Development Timeline The brain develops from back to front. See “What Makes Teens Tick?” by Claudia Wallis in Time Magazine , May 10, 2004 Drug Prevention Resources, Inc.
  6. 7. Development Timeline <ul><li>Massive Developmental </li></ul><ul><li>Changes in: </li></ul><ul><li>Prefrontal Cortex </li></ul><ul><li>Hippocampus </li></ul><ul><li>Corpus Callosum </li></ul>During adolescence, the brain undergoes a major process of pruning and reinforcing neural connections – “use it or lose it” principle. Drug Prevention Resources, Inc.
  7. 8. Development Timeline Alcohol affects the brain from front to back. 1-2 drinks 3-4 drinks 5-6 drinks 7-8 drinks 9-10 drinks More than 10 drinks –VITAL CENTERS Drug Prevention Resources, Inc.
  8. 9. Effects of Harmful Substances <ul><li>Prefrontal Cortex </li></ul><ul><li>Chief decision-maker and voice of reason (CEO of brain) </li></ul><ul><li>Last area of the brain to develop in adolescence </li></ul><ul><li>52% of Texas 12 th graders reported proof! </li></ul>Dr. John Keppler, Texas Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (TCADA) Drug Prevention Resources, Inc.
  9. 10. Effects of Harmful Substances <ul><li>Corpus Callosum </li></ul><ul><li>Bundle of nerve fibers connecting the brain hemispheres </li></ul><ul><li>Involved in problem solving and creativity </li></ul><ul><li>Experiences tremendous growth during adolescence. </li></ul>Dr. John Keppler, Texas Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (TCADA) Drug Prevention Resources, Inc.
  10. 11. Effects of Harmful Substances <ul><li>Hippocampus </li></ul><ul><li>Responsible for learning and memory </li></ul><ul><li>Most sensitive during adolescence </li></ul><ul><li>Shutdown results in blackouts </li></ul><ul><li>Smaller in alcohol-abusing teens </li></ul>See “Getting Stupid” by Bernice Wuethrich in Discover Magazine , March 2001 Drug Prevention Resources, Inc.
  11. 12. Effects of Harmful Substances <ul><li>Hippocampus </li></ul><ul><li>In the lab, drinking teens aged 15 to 16 had a harder time than non-drinking teens in both verbal and non-verbal tests of memory recall. Teens could not remember words such as apple and football that they had learned just 20 minutes before. </li></ul>See “Getting Stupid” by Bernice Wuethrich in Discover Magazine , March 2001 Drug Prevention Resources, Inc.
  12. 13. Implications for Teen Drivers <ul><li>Teens are more prone to engage in risky behavior due to brain development not reaching completion until age 25. </li></ul><ul><li>Good judgment is inhibited, especially when faced with distractions or when teens are in groups. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teens are four times as likely as older drivers to be involved in a crash a three times as likely to die in one. (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) </li></ul></ul>Drug Prevention Resources, Inc.
  13. 14. Implications for Teen Drivers <ul><li>Group Danger </li></ul><ul><li>The chances of a crash by a 16- or 17-year-old driver are doubled with two peers in the vehicle and quadrupled with three or more. (IIHS) </li></ul><ul><li>Teens start to take even more risks in the presence of their friends. (Laurence Steinberg, Temple University) </li></ul>Drug Prevention Resources, Inc.
  14. 15. Keeping Teens Safe – Action Steps <ul><li>Successful Prevention Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Prevention Education </li></ul><ul><li>Effective Policy </li></ul><ul><li>Social Norms Approach </li></ul>Drug Prevention Resources, Inc.
  15. 16. Keeping Teens Safe – Action Steps <ul><li>Prevention Education </li></ul><ul><li>Review current programs and evaluate effectiveness </li></ul><ul><li>Effective Policy </li></ul><ul><li>Restricting teen driving – raise driving age, limit number of passengers, ban cell phone use (talking, texting, etc.) </li></ul>Drug Prevention Resources, Inc.
  16. 17. <ul><li>He that gives good advice builds with one hand; he that gives good counsel and example builds with both. </li></ul><ul><li>-Francis Bacon </li></ul>Drug Prevention Resources, Inc.
  17. 18. <ul><li>Sarah Pahl, MSW </li></ul><ul><li>Drug Prevention Resources, Inc. </li></ul><ul><li>972-812-6312 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>www.impactcommunities.com </li></ul>Contact Info Drug Prevention Resources, Inc.

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