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Alcohol's Effects on Health

Research-based information on drinking and its impact.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

Alcohol and Your Brain: A Virtual Reality Experience

Updated: 2023

Welcome to Alcohol and Your Brain, an interactive activity for youth ages 13 and older to learn about alcohol’s effects on five areas of the brain.

This educational experience shares age-appropriate messages through engaging visuals, informative billboards, and narration.

Two versions of this activity are available. One is formatted for the virtual reality (VR) environment and the other in a video version.

The VR version creates an immersive experience. Using VR headsets, participants take a rollercoaster ride through the human brain, pausing at stations to learn about key brain regions that are affected by alcohol—and how alcohol, in turn, affects behavior.

There is also a video version for viewing the experience without a VR headset. Informative chapter breaks allow viewers to see an outline of key stops and jump to a particular brain region. An accessible version of the video provides audio description of the visuals.

How to Get NIAAA’s Alcohol and Your Brain

For anyone age 13+ with Quest, Quest 2, or Meta Quest Pro VR headsets, the free NIAAA app is available through Oculus App Lab.

Parents and educators can share the YouTube video with students on any computer or mobile device (an audio-described video is also available).

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