Underage drinking is a problem occurring in many countries around the world. Many underage adolescents secretly drink alcohol at home or dormitory. Some underage adolescents use fake IDs to purchase alcohol. They do not realize that they do illegal things.
There is a prohibition for underage drinking because prohibition can protect students from the danger of alcohol. Side effects from alcohol are more severe in underage adolescents. Moreover, alcohol disrupts the development of underage adolescents’ brains. Therefore, there is a prohibition. However, underage adolescents do not understand this reason.
In contrast, some underage adolescents think that drinking alcohol makes them feel like they are adults. However, they are still underage adolescents. Therefore, they still drink alcohol without feeling guilty.
There should be strategies to prevent underage drinking so that underage adolescents will get side effects from alcohol. This article will divide strategies to prevent underage drinking into 5 types including school strategies, extracurricular strategies, family strategies, policy strategies, and community strategies.
School strategies aim to decrease the prevalent alcohol use of adolescents by weakening the risk factors and strengthening preventive factors. There are many school strategies to reduce the use of alcohol by underage students. These strategies include:
- Giving information Teachers should give information about the short-term and long-term effects of alcohol. Moreover, teachers should give students personal stories of people who drink alcohol like what happens to them. Teachers can show the statistics of people who have problems from drinking alcohol, such as being violent from drinking or having sex after drinking. This information helps students make a safe decision about drinking alcohol.
- Help students have resistance skills to using alcohol This strategy aims to help students have the skill to resist internal pressure, (such as anxiety and stress) and external pressure (such as peer pressure and advertisement) to use alcohol. Sometimes, the students are not interested in alcohol. However, to be part of the society, they must drink alcohol. Teachers must help students to have skills to avoid drinking despite the pressure from friends.
- Skill training This strategy aims to teach the necessary skills to resist the allure of alcohol use to the students. By teaching skills, such as stress management, decision-making, problem-solving, and emotional regulation, the students will be able to resist the allure of alcohol.
The studies show that it is possible that after school time, adolescents without the provision from adults will drink alcohol. There should be extracurricular activities to help students have skills to refuse drinking and do positive activities that are more appealing than drinking alcohol.
There are many extracurricular activities, such as sports, music, dance, and art. When people participate in these activities, the students will be part of the community, have a positive influence, and have role models. As a result, they have fewer chances to be in underage drinking.
Family can help prevent underage adolescents from drinking alcohol because families are intimate with the adolescents. Therefore, it is easy for families to monitor students and prevent students from drinking alcohol. These are examples of what families can do to prevent underage drinking.
Being involved in their children
When children become adolescents, their families should be involved in their children’s life. They should know what their children do and what happens to their children.
Parents and guardians should limit the time that adolescents can spend when they are not with adolescents. They should try to let themselves know where their adolescents are and who are friends of adolescents. Sometimes, parents and guardians need to join some events with adolescents, such as concerts, some parties, etc.
Teaching and being a role model
Parents and guardians should teach underage adolescents to be responsible for alcohol by following the rule of not drinking alcohol at their age. Moreover, they should teach adolescents to look for a good friend, not a friend who likes to drink alcohol.
Additionally, parents and guardians should be role models of the person of responsible drinkers. They should not let adolescents see that they get drunk. If adolescents see them being drunk, adolescents will imitate the habit of drinking alcohol from them.
Policies can be guidelines to control the behaviour of underage adolescents in drinking alcohol. With the policy, the number of underage adolescents drinking alcohol will be decreased. Moreover, there are no underage adolescents drinking alcohol. These are the examples of policies to prevent underage drinking.
- Prohibition of selling alcohol to the underage
There should be a policy to check the age of people who buy alcohol. People who sell should check the age of their customers. After identifying that the customers are underage, the sellers must not sell alcohol to their customers. There should be consequences for sellers who do not follow this policy.
- Increasing tax for alcohol
Increasing taxes causes the alcohol seller to raise the price of alcohol. Raising the price of alcohol is one of the ways to prevent underage drinking. When alcohol is more expensive, underage adolescents will struggle to purchase alcohol. It can reduce the number of underage adolescents consuming alcohol.
The community can do many things to prevent underage drinking such as organizing events and campaigns to raise awareness of the risk of underage drinking. The community can also provide the resources to prevent underage drinking.