Teenage Drinking: The Effectiveness of Intervention Programs

Anti-Alcoholism logoAbstract:

Various intervention programs have been proposed and implemented in the educational institutions of the United States to curb underage drinking.  Some of them have met with success and some others not quite so.  It is generally learnt that programs that cater to the specific demands of a particular risk-group have performed better than the rest.  A review of literature on the subject has also thrown light on areas of deficiency with these programs and possible remedial measures.  Only a comprehensive program design that is based on a scientific and sociological understanding of the underage drinking problem can produce better results.

Education – Adolescent Alcoholism:


There are approximately 26.8 million Children of Alcoholics in America.  When compared to other risk groups, these children are the most vulnerable to fall into underage drinking habits.  Of this group, those aged 18 or younger comprise nearly 50%.  Almost inevitably, these children face negative outcomes as a result of their parental misdemeanor (Emshoff, 1999).

Another intervention model that is forwarded recently “suggests that building competence through increasing coping skills will reduce the incidence of psychopathology. Thus, appropriate goals for primary prevention for Children of Alcoholics would include the reduction of stress and the development of self-esteem, social competence, and a strong social support system (Emshoff, 1999).

In a survey conducted by Jacqueline Miller and her team of researchers, some startling facts were revealed about the prevalence of alcohol consumption among school going students.  45% of high school going students had admitted to drinking alcohol during the past month.  29% of the respondents reported drinking in excess as well.   The students who reported to drink or binge-drink also displayed “poor school performance and involvement in other health risk behaviors such as riding with a driver who had been drinking, being currently sexually active, smoking cigarettes or cigars, being a victim of dating violence, attempting suicide, and using illicit drugs” (Miller, et. al., .2007)

In light of such bleak consequences of teenage drinking, it is critical that educational institutions across the United States draw up intervention programs to address this pandemic facing the next generation.  The necessity for early intervention had been identified quite some time back and many proposals were forwarded in remedying the situation.  Different programs have met with different levels of success.  The following passages give a review of these programs and their efficacy/drawbacks (Miller, et. al., 2007).

A high proportion of buy attempts by underage youth are successful, and more than of high school students say that alcohol is easy to obtain. On top of these, most alcohol advertisements are placed in media outlets where the audiences are usually from the younger age groups.  In light of this, it is imperative that authorities from educational institutions device intervention measures to nip the problem in its nascence.  Some of those intervention programs are discussed below (Palfrey, 2005).

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