ALCOHOL OVERVIEW

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Activity

Cross the Room, Stand Up Sit Down, Myths and Facts

Time of Year

April – SADD Calendar
Any time of year

Summary

Many teens are unaware of the dangers of underage drinking.

 Objective

To promote awareness of the dangers of underage drinking

There are many activities that allow young people to discuss underage drinking. Here are three examples of activities that can be done using different formats to get the same points across.

Cross the Room is ideal for groups of 40 people or fewer.

What to Do

Stand Up Sit Down is ideal for large groups in an auditorium setting.

What to Do

  1. Read a myth.
  2. Participants stand if they agree and stay seated if they disagree.
  3. Once people are situated, ask a few members from each side to say why they are there.  Remind participants that it is all right to disagree with a statement but not with each other. 
  4. After hearing from the group, read the fact.

Myths and Facts is ideal for groups of 40 people or fewer.

What to Do

  1. Write “Myth” and “Fact” on opposite sides of the board or on different pieces of flip-chart paper and hang them separately.
  2. Photocopy the myths and cut them into individual pieces, one myth per sheet.
  3. Have participants hang the pieces of paper under the appropriate column based on what they think the answer is.
  4. Each person then takes one more turn and can move one statement to the other column if they disagree with the original placement.
  5. Once each person has taken a second turn, have the group discuss the statements (which are all myths), especially those that got moved.
  6. Read the facts to the group. 

Myths and Facts

Myth

Fact

Marijuana is the most commonly used drug among teens today.

Alcohol is the number-one drug problem. Each day, six teens die from alcohol-related causes.

All teenagers drink alcohol.

In 2005, less than half of high school students do not drink alcohol (Monitoring the Future, 2005).

Providing alcohol to youth in a supervised environment (i.e., taking away the car keys) is not harmful.

Research has shown that the adolescent brain is not yet fully developed until the early-to-mid twenties. Consuming alcohol at a young age can interfere with the brain’s natural development and affect a youth’s memory and cognitive thinking skills.

Teens cannot become addicted to alcohol.

Alcohol displays addictive properties in animals and humans just like other drugs do. People of any age can become addicted. In addition, people who begin drinking before age 15 are five times more likely to develop alcohol dependence at some time in their lives than are those who begin drinking at age 21 (SAMHSA, 2004). 

Alcohol has the same effects on adolescents as it does on adults.

The sedative effects of alcohol are less apparent in young people, leading them to drink more before they feel “sleepy.”

If you quit smoking, you can never fully “recover” and gain your health back.

One year after quitting, the excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s.  After 15 years of quitting, the risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker’s.

If I’m just going to the corner store, I do not really need my safety belt.

Eighty percent (80%) of traffic fatalities occur within 25 miles at speeds under 40 miles per hour.

A 12-ounce bottle of beer has less alcohol than a 1 ½ ounce shot of vodka does.

One serving of beer (12 oz.), one serving of hard liquor (1½ oz.), and one serving of wine (5 oz.) all contain the same amount of alcohol.

You can sober up more quickly drinking black coffee and/or dousing your head with cold water.

The only way to sober up is for the liver to oxidize the alcohol in the bloodstream, which takes time (1-2 hours per drink). The only benefit to drinking coffee or taking a cold shower is that those activities also take time.

Movies, television, music, and advertisements do not influence teens.

Researchers have studied the behavior of children after they watched television. Twelve watched a violent episode of the cartoon Woody Woodpecker, and the other 12 watched the nonviolent cartoon The Little Red Hen. During play afterwards, the researchers observed that the children who watched the violent cartoon were much more likely to hit other children and break toys. Also, in 2003 youth who reported seeing or hearing media messages about preventing alcohol and drug use were significantly less likely to report substance abuse. And 84% of teens (20.8 million) reported having seen or heard such a message on posters, pamphlets, radio, or TV in the past 12 months (SAMHSA).

The number of young male drinkers has been increasing more rapidly than the number of young female drinkers.

The number of young female drinkers has been increasing more rapidly than that of young male drinkers, perhaps because it is now generally more acceptable in our society for women to drink than it used to be.  In addition, the media heavily targets women and young girls.

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