Learning about Teen Drinking

Learning about Teen Drinking


This sheet contains a fictional story that is meant to help you understand the potential dangers of alcohol use. It represents the "worst case scenario" of what can happen with excessive alcohol use. Its purpose is to get you thinking about why alcohol use should be taken so seriously.

Part 1: The Consequences of Teen Drinking
As an introduction to the issue of teen drinking, read this short article with your class. Be aware that the story is upsetting, but it represents the worst possible outcome after drinking. Most people do not experience such severe consequences. But it is important to understand why drinking can be dangerous. This article is a way to learn about this.

After reading the article, discuss the questions listed below with your classmates or in a small group.

Student dies in fall from 6th-floor apartment window
By BRIAN McCLINTOCK Collegian Staff Writer
An 18-year-old Penn State University student fell to her death from a sixth-floor downtown apartment window early yesterday morning.

Late-night partiers and pedestrians stood in stunned silence as police and other people unsuccessfully administered CPR to a young woman on the sidewalk of East Beaver Avenue.

The girl was at a party at 611 Alexander Court, 309 E. Beaver Ave., where she and another girl were leaning out of adjacent windows just before she fell six stories onto the sidewalk below at about 2:30 a.m., the State College Police Department said.

She was pronounced dead at 3:16 a.m. yesterday morning, said the clinical coordinator at Centre Community Hospital.

While police have ruled the death accidental, an investigation continues "into the matter of the girl being provided alcohol at the party while being under the age of twenty-one," police said in a news release. The girl fell out of the 6th story window after a night of drinking - and died.

Discussion Questions
What is your reaction to this article?


How did alcohol affect the girl’s behavior?


What would you like to know about alcohol use as a way to prevent such incidents from happening?

Part 2: Student Survey
What do you already know about teen drinking? Is the information you have correct? Answer these true/false questions and find out.

  1. Alcohol affects every system in the body.
  2. Alcohol only affects the body in the short term.
  3. Alcohol affects teens the same way it affects adults.
  4. Alcohol is a stimulant, meaning that it accelerates the workings of the body’s key functions.
  5. Alcohol abuse can cause problems as can marijuana and other drugs.
  6. A 12-ounce can of beer, a five-ounce glass of wine, and a standard mixed drink (1.5 ounce of hard liquor) all contain the same amount of alcohol.
  7. Coffee or a shower helps people become sober faster.
  8. Teens who drink are more likely to be victims of violent crimes and be involved in alcohol-related traffic accidents.
  9. Alcohol use is not common among teens.

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