Teenagers who experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI) are at increased risk of using marijuana, drinking alcohol and smoking, a new study finds. They are also at risk of getting poor grades, HealthDay reports.
The researchers defined a TBI as a blow to the head that resulted in the teen being knocked out for at least five minutes, or spending at least one night in the hospital due to symptoms associated with the injury.
“This is a wake-up call. Concussions are brain injuries, and we need parents and physicians to become more vigilant,” said lead author Gabriela Ilie of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. “Our brains define who we are, and a lot of our behaviors and thoughts and emotions depend on our brain circuitry operating properly.”