In Nature this week there is a new study predicting who is likely to binge drink. This study looked at brains of 700 teens throughout Europe.
Several factors were present, but a big one seemed to be personality. Thrill-seekers and those who were less conscientious were at greater risk.
However, brain structure showed a relationship, as well. Here's a quote from NPR which paraphrases the study: Among binge drinkers, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which plays a role in decision-making and the processing certain emotions, had less gray matter volume. But researchers are still unclear on why exactly that is or what it means, Garavan notes. The study suggests that binge drinkers' may process fear and rewards slightly differently than their peers.
As the blog post just prior to this one shows, there are real consequences for loss of life or decreased lifespan due to excessive alcohol use. Talk with your kids early and often about alcohol use, letting them know the dangers associated with alcohol use.