The Adolescent Brain – Wired for Taking Risks

Adolescence is a time of increased risk-taking; this paper looks at the role the brain plays in risk-taking, including adolescent substance use. It also considers some possible ways the harm of risk-taking in young people can be mitigated and notes that many adolescent risk behaviours put others in danger, making the prevention of risky behaviours among adolescents an essential public health issue (IOM & NRC, 2011). During adolescence, a key goal for those working in prevention is to reduce the harms of risk-taking, so some implications for prevention programmes will be outlined.

This briefing paper forms part of a mini-series on the ‘Brain under Construction.’ and should be read alongside ‘Window on the Developing Brain‘.

These briefing papers are part of a series produced by Mentor-ADEPIS on alcohol and drug education and prevention, for teachers and practitioners.

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