educators

Education

K-12 schools, colleges and universities are community institutions most likely to be exposed to youth alcohol related problems. Educational institutions and educators can help with needed changes while benefiting from reduced student absences, disruptive behaviors and increased academic performance!

Making the Case: Education

Why Partner To Reduce Underage And Youth Binge Drinking?

  • Alcohol is the #1 drug of choice among children and adolescents; they use alcohol 10 times more than all illegal drugs, combined. Cobb County students binge drink at a friend’s house on the weekend more than other students in the state.
  • Alcohol use undermines brain development. The brain goes through dynamic changes during adolescence, and alcohol can seriously impact learning and behavior. The brain’s hippocampus, responsible for learning and memory, can be 10% smaller in underage drinkers.
  • Schools are community institutions most likely to be exposed to youth alcohol related problems. Youth who drink alcohol are more likely to have; higher absences, poor grades and disruptive behaviors.
  • Many adolescents start to drink at a very young age. The age of first use has dropped to 13. Young people who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin drinking at age 21.

Read the full Case Statement for Education.

A Snapshot of Annual High-Risk College Drinking Consequences

The consequences of excessive and underage drinking affect virtually all college campuses, college communities, and college students, whether they choose to drink or not.

  • Death:  1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes (Hingson et al., 2009).
  • Injury:  599,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are unintentionally injured under the influence of alcohol (Hingson et al., 2009).
  • Assault:  696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking (Hingson et al., 2009).
  • Sexual Abuse:  97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape (Hingson et al., 2009).
  • Unsafe Sex: 400,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 had unprotected sex and more than 100,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report having been too intoxicated to know if they consented to having sex (Hingson et al., 2002).
  • Academic Problems: About 25 percent of college students report academic consequences of their drinking including missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall (Engs et al., 1996; Presley et al., 1996a, 1996b; Wechsler et al., 2002).
  • Health Problems/Suicide Attempts: More than 150,000 students develop an alcohol-related health problem (Hingson et al., 2002), and between 1.2 and 1.5 percent of students indicate that they tried to commit suicide within the past year due to drinking or drug use (Presley et al., 1998).
  • Drunk Driving: 3,360,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 drive under the influence of alcohol (Hingson et al., 2009).
  • Vandalism: About 11 percent of college student drinkers report that they have damaged property while under the influence of alcohol (Wechsler et al., 2002).
  • Property Damage: More than 25 percent of administrators from schools with relatively low drinking levels and over 50 percent from schools with high drinking levels say their campuses have a “moderate” or “major” problem with alcohol-related property damage (Wechsler et al., 1995).
  • Police Involvement: About 5 percent of 4-year college students are involved with the police or campus security as a result of their drinking (Wechsler et al., 2002), and  110,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are arrested for an alcohol-related violation such as public drunkenness or driving under the influence (Hingson et al., 2002).
  • Alcohol Abuse and Dependence: 31 percent of college students met criteria for a diagnosis of alcohol abuse and 6 percent for a diagnosis of alcohol dependence in the past 12 months, according to questionnaire-based self-reports about their drinking (Knight et al., 2002).
Why should educational institutions and educators care about this problem?
  • Schools are community institutions most likely to be exposed to youth alcohol related problems. Youth who drink alcohol are more likely to have; higher absences, poor grades and disruptive behaviors. [U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services]
  • Alcohol use undermines brain development. The brain goes through dynamic changes during adolescence and up ‘til about age 25, and alcohol can seriously impact learning and behavior. The brain’s hippocampus, responsible for learning and memory, can be 10% smaller in youth drinkers. [American Medical Association]
What are some specific things educators can do to help reduce underage and youth binge drinking?
  • Teachers, coaches, and mentors—your messages matter.  Whatever your role, in working with young people you are a critical part of the way they see the world and what is expected of them. Check out representing responsibility.
  • Establish, enforce and evaluate effective campus alcohol policies.
  • Only sponsor interventions that research has confirmed to be effective.
  • Provide students with developmentally appropriate knowledge, skills, and motivation to resist peer and other pressures to drink.
  • Identify students using alcohol and make appropriate intervention and/or treatment referrals.
  • Train campus personnel to recognize alcohol-related problems, intervene appropriately, and utilize uniform referral protocols.
  • Provide information to students and families on the consequences of alcohol use, campus alcohol policies and practices, and local sources for more information.
How can I tell if our campus alcohol policy could be improved upon?
Where can I learn the extent of the underage and youth binge drinking problem at my school?
  • There are 13 alcohol related questions contained in the Georgia Student Health Survey. Students in grades 6-12 participate in this anonymous survey conducted by the GA Department of Education each year. Find results for Cobb County School District andMarietta City Schools. You can search local school results on the GA Department of Education website.
  • Colleges and universities also collect data such as; CORE survey, students drinking patterns, Jeanne Clery crime statistics, etc. Contact local college/university administrator for information.
Don’t See Your Question Here? Let Us Know

If you don’t see your question in the list above, please contact us.

We will work hard to answer and/or create news articles from the questions you provide.

Thanks for your help and check back often for answers to your questions.

Educators CAN

  • Establish, enforce and evaluate effective campus alcohol policies
  • Only sponsor interventions that research has confirmed to be effective
  • Provide students with developmentally appropriate knowledge, skills, and motivation to resist peer and other pressures to drink
  • Identify students using alcohol and make appropriate intervention and/or treatment referrals
  • Train campus personnel to recognize alcohol-related problems, intervene appropriately, and utilize uniform referral protocols
  • Provide information to students and families on the consequences of alcohol use, campus alcohol policies and practices, and local sources for more information
  • Become a partner with Cobb Alcohol Taskforce
  • Join the Cobb Alcohol Taskforce as a volunteer or friend and subscribe to monthly e-news
  • Promote Cobb Safe Neighborhoods Safe Homes Campaign

Resources

  • Review of K-12 School Alcohol Policy Research
  • Review of College Campus Alcohol Policy Research
  • Above The Influence – a campaign for youth with TV Ads, website and social media
  • ATI Toolkit – 52 page downloadable kit with easy and engaging activities for youth
  • Alcohol’s Damaging Effect on the Brain
  • Schools and the Community Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Environment: Opportunity for Prevention
  • U.S. Surgeon General’s Call to Action to prevent and reduce underage drinking
  • www.alcoholcostcalculator.org – Alcohol Cost Calculator provides an easy-to-use tool and is designed to help teachers, parents, lawmakers and child advocates calculate the toll serious alcohol problems are taking on their community.
  • www.alcoholfreechildren.org – Leadership to Keep Children Alcohol Free is a coalition of Governor’s spouses, federal and private agencies. Focus on 9-15 age group. Statistics, research, news, etc.
  • www.alcoholjustice.org – Fights to protect the public from the impact of the alcohol industry’s negative practices. Monitors and exposes the alcohol industry’s harmful actions related to products, promotions and social influence, and supports communities in their efforts to reject these damaging activities.
  • www.alcoholscreening.org – Learn if your drinking is harming your health. Answer questions for personalized results based on age, gender and drinking patterns.  A project of Join Together and Boston University School of Public Health.
  • www.cadca.org – CADCA’s mission is to build and strengthen the capacity of community coalitions to create safe, healthy and drug-free communities. Useful tools, resources, publications and training institutes.
  • www.camy.org – Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth will help you learn more about industry marketing practices. Research, fact sheets and take action ideas.
  • www.cobbk12.org/centraloffice/preventionintervention - Cobb County Public Schools Prevention Intervention Center offers Alcohol and Other Drug use and Violence Prevention trainings to schools, PTAs, students, and community groups, as well as other intervention and support services.
  • www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov – Created by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), comprehensive research-based information on issues related to alcohol abuse and binge drinking among college students.
  • www.niaaa.nih.gov – National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. A part of the National Institutes of Health, NIAAA conducts research on alcohol consumption and the prevention and treatment of alcohol-related problems. Find information for scientists/researchers, clinicians, and news/information by topic; underage drinking, college drinking, women and alcohol, older adults and alcohol.
  • www.rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov – For anyone who drinks, this site offers valuable, research-based information. What do you think about taking a look at your drinking habits and how they may affect your health? Rethinking Drinking can help you get started.
  • www.samhsa.gov – Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration is a clearinghouse of lots of information. National Household Survey on Drug Abuse found here. Can access alcohol specific links and Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) model programs.
  • Save Brains – info and slides about alcohol’s impact on the developing brain
  • www.stopalcoholabuse.gov – A comprehensive portal of Federal resources for information on underage drinking and ideas for combating this issue.
  • www.stopalcoholabuse.gov (Educators) – Information and classroom resources for educators
  • www.toosmarttostart.samhsa.gov – Provides useful programs and strategies, downloadable materials, interactive games and exercises, and other resources for youth, families and educators.
  • Underage Drinking in Georgia – fact sheet