Week 29 -- "The risk and consequences of underage drinking" -- Grade 12

Week 29 -- "The risk and consequences of underage drinking" -- Grade 12

Suite360 Student Lesson Name: The risk and consequences of underage drinking.

Brief Summary: Binge drinking is an all-too-common problem among teenagers today. Although teens often believe that they don’t drink too much because they only have a few drinks on the weekends or at the occasional party, binge drinking can cause serious health hazards, even death. More than half of American youths ages 12 to 20 have tried alcohol, and girls are nearly as likely as boys to experiment with drinking. Underage and binge drinking is risky and can lead to car accidents, violent behavior, alcohol poisoning, and other health problems. Drinking at a young age greatly increases the risk of developing alcohol problems later in life. This is why it is important for you to talk with your kids early about the dangers of underage drinking. Experts say that parents play a crucial role in controlling teen binge drinking, and they can do a lot to prevent teens from engaging in this risky behavior. 

Shared vocabulary: None

Key Takeaways:

  • Here are the top reasons teens drink:
    • Teens see parents and their peers drinking. Often times teens’ social life may revolve around drinking so it is easy to succumb to peer pressure if urged to try alcohol.
    • Popular media makes it seem like drinking alcohol is cool.
    • Teens use alcohol as an escape from their problems and as self-medication to make them feel better.
    • Boredom: teens who can’t tolerate being alone, have trouble keeping themselves occupied or crave excitement are prime candidates for substance use.
    • Rebellion.
    • Instant gratification: drugs and alcohol work quickly and the initial effects can feel really good.
    • Lack of confidence: many shy teenagers who lack confidence report that they’ll do things under the influence of alcohol or drugs that they might not otherwise.
    • Inaccurate information about drugs and alcohol.
  • Teens are more susceptible to peer pressure and will often engage in drinking games that encourage drinking more in a very short period of time.
  • Teenagers often think that they are invincible which causes them to think they can drink even though they are often physically smaller than adults and can handle less alcohol.
  • Based on typical adolescent brain development, they have more difficulties thinking about consequences of their actions…especially if they are drunk already.
  • As a parent regular conversations about alcohol usage and what the risks and consequences are will help teenagers make informed decisions when they are in situations where alcohol is present.

Continue the Conversation:  

  • Why is peer pressure so difficult to avoid in these situations?  What are some ways your can avoid being in these situations or how can you exit without feeling embarrassed or ashamed?
  • Alcohol can have negative effects on everyone but why is it more dangerous, physically for teens?
  • What are the consequences of when you drink and drive?  With your life and the law?
  • How do we continue to have open and honest conversations about alcohol and me helping you make good decisions?

Additional resources/suggested reading: