Alcohol & The Developing Brain

Adolescence is a time of substantial development within the brain, and evidence shows the negative impact alcohol can have on the developing brain. [1,2]

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) alcohol guidelines for young people provide important reasons not to give alcohol to young people if they are under 18 years of age. [3]

There is increasing evidence about the effect alcohol has on the developing brain.


In this section:

How the Brain Develops

Behaviour Driven by The Developing Brain

Impact of Alcohol and The Developing Brain

Brain Development Following Puberty

[1] Monti, P., Miranda, R., Nixon, K., Sher, K., Swartzwelder, H., Tapert, S., White, A. & Crews, F. (2010). Adolescence: Booze, Brains, and Behavior. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. 29(2):207–220.

[2] Allsop, S. (2012). How to set teens up for a healthy relationship with alcohol. Available at:

[3] National Health and Medical Research Council. (2009). Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol: Commonwealth of Australia. Available at