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Duke's Swartzwelder to Address Alcohol's Effects on the Brain

Scott Swartzwelder, professor of psychiatry, psychology and neuroscience at Duke University and senior research career scientist at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, will give a talk at Washington and Lee University on Thursday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theater, Elrod Commons.

The title of Swartzwelder’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is “Hangover III: The Long-lasting Effects of Alcohol on the Brain.”

Swartzwelder primarily studies the ways in which alcohol and other drugs interact with the brain, particularly with brain mechanisms of learning and memory during adolescence and early adulthood.

“Scott is one of the foremost experts on the impact that alcohol has on the young adult brain in relation to the formation of new memories and what is happening in the hippocampus,” said Jan Kaufman, director of health promotion at W&L.

“His current research advances our understanding of the long-term impact of alcohol use and abuse.  This should provide some very clear concrete guidelines to young adults – specifically college students – around alcohol consumption.  He is a very personable, down to earth, and engaging speaker who can convey complicated scientific information to lay audiences. He has spoken at W&L several times to a packed Stackhouse Theater.”

Swartzwelder has written four books, including “What Are They Thinking?!  The Straight Facts about the Risk-Taking, Social-Networking, Still-Developing Teen Brain” (W.W. Norton, 2013) and “Buzzed: The Straight Facts About the Most Used and Abused Drugs From Alcohol to Ecstasy” (W.W. Norton, fourth edition, 2013) and “Just Say Know: Talking with Kids about Drugs and Alcohol” (W.W. Norton, 2002).

He has published over 130 scientific papers, translating the science of drug actions into lay language, and has trained more than 50 scientists and clinicians.  In addition, he has created and taught several innovative college courses on brain mechanisms of memory and drug effects, and has consulted extensively as a scientific advisor with a number of national institutes and departments, as well as with numerous public education and policy organizations.

Swartzwelder has also appeared and consulted on national television and radio. He now lectures and consults to promote effective education about the developing brain, alcohol and other drugs.

News Contact:
Julie Cline
News Writer