Men's Health

What you can (and cannot) get away with in your 20s

Routinely Drinking to Oblivion

Your brain is still pretty young—it’s not fully developed until your mid- to late 20s. Right now there are more connections between neurons. This helps you learn quickly, but it also means there’s more real estate for alcohol to bind to, explains Frances E. Jensen, M.D., author. This makes the effects of booze more profound and allows addictions to form in a stronger, more permanent way than they do later. Plus, binge drinking now is linked to reduced areas of the brain involved in memory, language, attention, and more—and they stay smaller for life.

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