Alcohol Use Among Adolescents

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This lecture deals with alcohol use (and abuse) among adolescents. Alcohol is an extremely important issue for teenagers. There have been many moments in my life during which I have been offered some form of alcohol, but turned it down. In order to avoid being exposed to alcohol and drunken (intoxicated) people, I do not attend parties- I doubt I will even after I turn twenty-one years old. Unfortunately, not too many underage people that I know abide by these rules, and I strongly doubt a high percentage of teenagers do . The lecture would tell of the many negative effects of alcohol, particularly on adolescents. I would also talk about the many misconceptions about the “positive” effects of alcohol, how alcohol is glamorized in the media, and why said glamorization is bad. It would consist of a series of skits that dramatize various issues such as driving under intoxication, being forced to drink, and the poor choices one makes when intoxicated. There would also be a questionnaire asking the age of the students, if they have had an alcoholic beverage, and similar questions. I feel that high school freshmen (mostly about 14 years old) are the perfect demographic towards which to gear this lecture, since that is the age many will begin to be directly exposed to (and offered) alcohol . According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2006), each year, about 5,000 Americans under the age of 21 die as a result of underage drinking; which includes about 1,900 from car crashes, 1,600 from homicides, 300 as a result of suicide, and hundreds from other injuries such as falls, burns, and drowning. The average age of the first use of alcohol is 14 (http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/AA67/AA67.pdf), which is why I think i... ... middle of paper ... ...008). One thing that no prevention program could control, though, is the impulsivity and attention-seeking nature of adolescents, which is one of the more natural causes of drunk driving (Pedersen & McCarthy, 2008). Some limitations I might meet when giving my lecture are the biased opinions of some of the students, particularly those who binge drink often and those who never plan to have a drink in their entire life. I would thus give out a questionnaire at the beginning of the lecture to gauge the general familiarity level with alcohol of the room, and would gear the lecture towards the students in the particular class As one can see, alcohol is an extremely important issue for adolescents. It would be extremely helpful to high school freshman to educate them about this issue to prevent them from suffering (or causing) early deaths or becoming alcoholics as adults.
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