Parents are the leading influence in a kids decision to drink or not to drink, yet they are not the only line of defense against underage drinking.
Teachers play a crucial role in guiding students in both their academic and social growth. Encouraging words from a teacher will boost confidence which can embolden youth to stand up for what they believe and be true leaders among their peers. Teachers, school counselors, and even school administrators encourage kids to excel in the classroom and should remind kids not to drink alcohol underage.
Early drinking is a risk factor for alcohol use disorders. Adults who had taken their first drink of alcohol before the age of 15 were 6.5 times more likely to experience an alcohol use disorder than those who didn’t start drinking before age 21. (SAMHSA, 2017 NSDUH).
We encourage teachers to utilize the resource the Ask, Listen, Learn program provides in your classroom to start discussions around the importance of saying “NO” to underage drinking.
According to the 2022 Monitoring the Future study, alcohol consumption among America’s teens is holding steady at or below pre-pandemic prevalence rates. Lifetime, annual, current, and binge drinking prevalence rates showed little or no change from 2020 to 2022, after unprecedented declines in 2021, among students in 8th, 10th and 12th grades, but all rates are significantly lower than peak years. For the three grades combined (8th, 10th, and 12th) the proportion of students reporting lifetime, annual, current (past 30-days), and binge drinking (41 percent, 32 percent, 16 percent, and almost 7 percent, respectively) were below pre-pandemic levels.
Tweens are undergoing many emotional and physical changes, and they’re fascinated by how their bodies and minds operate. Give your students plenty of information about how alcohol affects them physiologically.