Alcohol Misuse in Teenagers: New Means to Address the Issue
Despite the efforts of healthcare specialists, over the past few years, the rates of alcohol consumption in youth have grown impressively. According to the latest data, one Australian teenager in five drinks excessively (Drugs – teenagers, 2012). Therefore, health service and promotion experts must provide a school-based alcohol education program similar to Project Star (Stigler et al., 2009).
Indeed, according to the existing sources, the systems adopted by the government for controlling the use of alcohol among teenagers seem to fail (Firmin, 2013). On the one hand, it is obvious that the approach traditionally adopted to solve the problem in question seems to have worn out its welcome long before.
Indeed, the idea of lecturing young people with the key principles of staying sober has been done to death (Youth in action, 2012). However, partially, alcohol-producing companies are also to blame, with their advertisement campaigns that are targeted at young people (New South Wales School Students Health Behaviours Survey 2011 Report part 1: nutrition, physical activity, and alcohol, 2011).
Moreover, as the data acquired over the past few months shows, the rates of alcohol sales among young people have risen greatly (Young Australians and alcohol, 2013).
The Marketing and alcohol factsheet dating May 2013 shows that alcohol-producing companies appeal to the teenage demographic on purpose, using the ideas, images, and concepts that are strikingly attuned to adolescence (Australian secondary school students’ use of tobacco, alcohol, and over-the-counter and illicit substances in 2011, 2011), such as mocking the adult world and using the images of celebrities.
Therefore, it is obvious that a cohesive program that will help young people remain teetotalers and abstain from drinking at least at a young age must be introduced into Australian education. It is rather questionable whether the program should be compulsory or optional for young people to attend, yet the significance of enlightening the Australian youth on the issue of alcohol and the effects that it has on the young organism is evident.
There are a number of understandable concerns about the efficacy of the program. Indeed, it must be admitted that the traditional principle of intimidating the target audience with health threats is no longer efficient (News on alcohol marketing, 2013).
However, one should keep in mind that the strategies based on intimidation are no longer in use; instead, a valid program must appeal to the participants’ common sense, as well as their sense for self-preservation (Drugs, alcohol and youth crime: Counting the cost, 2013).
Despite the numerous flaws of the existing programs that promote alcohol-free lifestyle to the Australian youth, they have clearly been created for a good cause; more to the point, they still have a tangible effect on the behavioral patterns of the Australian youth (Climate schools: Universal computer-based programs to prevent alcohol and other drug use in adolescence, 2013).
Therefore, it is imperative that a two-month program presupposing both lectures and interactions with students, as well as answering students’ questions and raising their awareness regarding alcoholism issues, should be created.
The organizers of the program, though, should keep in mind that the provided solution is not a silver bullet; more to the point, it will take time (several weeks at the very least (Alcohol screening and brief intervention for youth, 2011)) to help young people realize the perils of drinking.
: Universal computer-based programs to prevent alcohol and other drug use in adolescence (2013).
Drugs, alcohol and youth crime: Counting the cost (2013).
Drugs – teenagers (2012).
Firmin, C. (2013). A lack of youth services is failing children and young people in the UK.
New South Wales School Students Health Behaviours Survey 2011 Report part 1: nutrition, physical activity and alcohol (2011).
Stigler, M. H. et al. (2009). School-based programs to prevent and reduce alcohol use among youth. Alcohol Research and Health, 34(2), n. p.
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