Until you're 25, your brain is still developing. Doing drugs, drinking and smoking interferes with this development and can put your health, social life and education at risk.
- You can legally drink alcohol in Ontario when you're 19.
- Alcohol slows down parts of your brain. It affects things like your behaviour, thinking, breathing and heart rate.
- Drinking alcohol before your brain is fully developed can make it hard to plan, make decisions or pay attention.
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Cannabis is a legal drug in Canada for those 19 and older. Cannabis comes in many forms and can be consumed in multiple ways. There are different risks depending on how it's consumed. You have a choice when it comes to using cannabis.
- Mental health - Use your head to protect your brain. Young people who use cannabis are at risk developing anxiety, depression and psychosis.
- Long-term effects - Regular cannabis use can negatively impact your developing brain and make it harder to well at school or on the job.
- Everyone's not doing it - It may seem like everyone's using cannabis, but 4 out of 5 Ontario students report not having used cannabis in the last year.
It's safer not to use cannabis, but if you choose to use, learn ways to reduce some of the risks:
An electronic cigarette (also known as a vape) is a battery-operated device that changes a liquid chemical (e-juice) into an aerosol that can be inhaled. People often call this vaping. E-cigarettes are often flavoured and can contain nicotine.
E-cigarette products have many names, including:
- vape pens
- tank systems
- electronic cigarettes/e-cigarettes
- electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)
Risks of vaping: