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The teen brain

The teen brainIf you’re in your teens there is something you should consider if you’re thinking about using drugs. Your brain is undergoing a ‘renovation’ right now. There are pros and cons to this renovation or ‘re-wiring’. It’s a great time to master skills – your brain can cope with incredible amounts of learning and memory. On the downside, you’re at a time of life where you might start losing the skills you aren’t using. Use it or lose it, people!

This re-wiring is a bit like clearing out your loft at home – things you need take pride of place while the other clutter can just go in the skip. In biological terms it’s called ‘brain pruning’. Imagine all the excess connections between parts of your brain getting the chop, making way for the ones that really matter to get stronger – the ones that will stand to you as you become an independent adult. You should be aware that drugs will interfere with this pruning. They confuse the brain so it can’t tell the clutter from the refinement.

Of course you’ll be tempted to try that alcopop – what’s wrong with one can? Is sharing one ciggy really so bad? Well yes and no – experimentation is not uncommon, it’s human nature. Just be careful you don’t disrupt your brain’s development – you only get one shot at pruning it!

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The HSE and Union of Students in Ireland (USI) ask students to think about drug safety measures when using club drugs
Harm reduction messages from the #SaferStudentNights campaign.
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