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  Binge drinking and drug use
Updated 29 April 2004, 14.48
Teen drinker

PSHE 11-14/KS3/Levels E&F
Alcohol, drugs and tobacco

Thousands of 11-to-15-year-olds are having to go to hospital each year because they have drunk too much alcohol, says the government.

Discuss kids' attitudes towards drinking and solve clues to identify different drugs.

Learning aims

  • Critically evaluate young peoples' comments.

  • Match drug effects with their names.
Read the story

Young peoples' attitudes to drinking
Read out the following comments submitted to the CBBC Newsround website. Do students agree with the opinions expressed?

[A] Getting 'wasted' every week is stupid, but having a drink when you're out with friends or at a party is fine. In 'Western' culture, alcohol is a social device, which is what teenagers mainly use it for. The legal limit for alcohol should be lowered to 16, by that age you should be mature enough to drink responsibly and not be stupid.
Sean, 16, Belfast

[B] Young people know the risks but give in to drink for individual reasons; some are bored, for others it's peer pressure, others want to rebel to get attention. The same goes for drugs and crime committing.
Sally, 14, Deeping

[C] Teenagers are going to do what they want to do. I don't drink but I know many people who do. Most people I know do it when they're with a group of friends and they can't find anything better to do. There should be safe, fun places where youth can hang out all night.
Rashida, 17, San Francisco

[D] I think you're all stupid. I've been so drunk that I've been sick everywhere! Yet I keep on doing it because it's FUN!
Anonymous, 13, Doncaster

    Ask the class:
  • Why might teenagers who drink heavily get more involved in crime?

  • What can be done to help young people drink responsibly?

  • Why do young people binge drink more than experienced drinkers?

  • Why is alcohol more socially acceptable than other drugs?

Main activity
Give out copies of the

Students match the drugs listed with their clues.

Answers for the worksheet:

1. Nicotine
2. Caffeine
3. Cocaine
4. Insulin
5. Tranquillisers
6. Alcohol
7. Glue
8. Ventolin
9. Gas
10. Steroids
11. Heroin
12. Cannabis
13. LSD
14. Magic mushrooms
15. Aspirin
16. Poppers
17. Ecstasy

Extension activity
Divide the class into groups of three. Ask them to come up with their own definition of the word 'drugs'.

They should then design a poster that demonstrates to younger students the adverse effects of drug misuse.

Recap on the main teaching points and discuss which new things they have learned and things they may need to find out more about.

Teachers' Background

  • Over 3,300 11-to-15-year-olds ended up in emergency rooms after drinking heavily last year in England alone.

  • That means about nine teens a day need hospital treatment.

  • Helen Gregory a peer counsellor for the Cumbria Alcohol and Drug Advisory Service scheme in Carlisle. She said: 'I think our youngest client this year has been about 10-years-old, and we have worked with a number of 13-year-olds.'

  • One 13-year-old girl was drinking the equivalent of 40 units spread over a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

  • Earlier this year representatives at the British Medical Association's annual conference heard fruit-flavoured drinks were potentially dangerous.

  • They also said alcopops were encouraging young people to drink too much. They backed a motion calling for warning labels to be placed on the drinks warning of their high alcohol content.

For all links and resources click at top right.

More InfoBORDER=0
TeachersWhich drug am I?
UKGovernment told to stop kids drinking alcohol
ClubShould children drink alcohol younger?
ClubUnderage drinking is a big problem


Past StoriesBORDER=0
Alcohol and other drugs
Underage drinking is a big problem


Web Links
Communities That Care
Alcohol Concern
Note: You will leave CBBC. We are not responsible for other websites.



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