The American Medical Association released a much-discussed report a few months back on the deleterious effects of alcohol abuse on brain development in children, adolescents, and college students. Those effects included a 10 percent smaller hippocampus, the memory and learning center of the brain, as well as damage to the reasoning and decision-making areas of the brain.

In the latest Mapping America, federal survey data illustrate that the first and most fundamental protections against adolescent alcohol abuse are frequent religious attendance and married parents.