One of the most commonly abused substances, alcohol poses enormous health and safety risks to the youth. Underage drinking, i.e. consumption of alcohol under the age of 21 in the United States, is a leading public health problem. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in 2016 about 7.3 million people aged 12 to 20 reported drinking alcohol in the past month. That included 1.1 million people who reported heavy alcohol abuse and 4.5 million who indulged in binge drinking.
All the states in the U.S. prohibit possession of alcoholic beverages by underage youths, as drinking can result in injuries, violence, aggressive behavior, property damage, and even death. Also, underage drinking can have legal consequences, including fines, mandatory community service, suspended licenses and time in jail.
Owing to the increase in alcohol consumption among youths, it has become increasingly important to make the young people aware of the harmful effects of alcohol, offer them necessary help and teach effective ways to reduce the alcohol dependence. One such initiative was taken by the Youth Alcohol Awareness and Education Foundation, Inc., established by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits.
The Foundation recently conducted an education and awareness survey in seven Miami-Dade and Broward high schools in which students were measured on their knowledge gain as well as shift in their attitudes, behaviors and habits around alcohol safety via pre- and post-course assessments and surveys. The results were then compared with the national survey population of over 30,000 students by EverFi, a leading education technology company. It was a pilot survey of EverFi’s AlcoholEdu for High School online curriculum, an initiative funded by the foundation along with Step Up For Students, a nonprofit organization.
AlcoholEdu for High School is a 1.5-hour interactive course that combines science-based alcohol education and interactive exercises and provides each student with an individualized experience that motivates behavior change, reworks perceptions and supports healthier decisions regarding alcohol consumption.
After taking the course, the students reported an average increase of 20 percent in their assessment scores. A majority of students also reported that the course prepared them to make responsible decisions, resist peer pressure to drinking, identify signs when someone has consumed too much alcohol and stopping a friend from driving drunk, among others.
According to Wayne Chaplin, the CEO of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, “As a leader in our industry, we take our commitment to responsibility very seriously – and that includes the prevention of underage drinking. We work regularly with our trade partners and customers to reduce teen access to alcohol. However, because this is such an important issue, we wanted to go a step further – by bringing important skill-building programs directly to students. We look forward to working with our partners Step Up For Students and EverFi to expand this program to 25 high schools and make an even greater positive impact on this important social issue.”
Though an occasional drink or two might not be a cause of concern, alcohol abuse can harm one’s relationships, disrupt school, work and professional life, cause legal troubles, and even contribute to accidents. Moreover, repeated use and increased amounts of alcohol can lead to addiction and other dangerous consequences.
If you know someone battling an addiction to alcohol, it’s time to get professional help. At the 24/7 Recovery Helpline, we can help you or your loved with the relevant information on alcohol addiction treatment options in the U.S. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-441-4405 or chat online with our experts to find one of the finest alcohol abuse treatment centers in your vicinity.