New research from Binghamton University, State University of New York shows alcohol exposure during adolescence leads to chronic stress vulnerability. Researchers gave alcohol to rats every other day during early to mid-adolescence. In adulthood, those same rats didn't exhibit hormonal stress adaptation, which means they were more vulnerable to chronic stress.
“What these studies are showing is that there are long-lasting effects from adolescent alcohol exposure, and it is not innocuous,” says Linda Spear, distinguished professor of psychology at Binghamton University and lead researcher on the study. “These effects are most dramatic with exposures during mid- and early adolescence, which is the time when alcohol use is typically initiated in humans.”
Next, the researchers will investigate the neural mechanisms in an effort to prevent or reverse the consequences of adolescent alcohol exposure.