In a study that shows that doing JELL-O shots is never a good idea, adolescent rats that consumed alcohol-laced gel were more likely to make risky decisions long after the alcohol had worn off.
Though the research was done with animals, researchers said human teenagers who drink to excess could experience similar, long-lasting effects.
Previous studies have shown that early alcohol consumption is a risk factor for later substance abuse and other risky behavior, Bernstein said.
It's well known that people under the influence of alcohol or drugs take bigger risks, said Dr. Adam Bisaga, an associate professor of clinical psychiatry at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, in New York City.
One of the concerns with teens is that their lack of maturity and experience may contribute to their making very bad, dangerous decisions when they're under the influence, Bisaga said.