Effective Drunk Driving Education in Georgia
Studies have shown that alcohol education programs that tout complete abstinence—without other options—are widely unsuccessful and may even promote more problems than they actually prevent. This is so because young people are both curious and observant. They observe the adults in their lives enjoying alcohol without abusing it, and they are eager to partake Most people who tout complete abstinence mistakenly believe that alcohol consumption is the same as alcohol abuse and that exaggerating the dangers of alcohol consumption will scare young people into abstaining. Typically, proponents of complete abstinence also share the mistaken belief that alcohol consumption leads to drug use.
Removing the Stigma of Alcohol Consumption
Once we remove the stigma from alcohol consumption, we can teach young people that it is the abuse of alcohol instead of the alcohol itself that is the problem we are seeking for them to avoid. Once we do this, we can begin teaching our children at an early age that moderation is the key to the responsible consumption of alcohol. Instead of being seen as a forbidden fruit, children develop a neutral opinion towards alcohol. That is to say that the act of drinking in moderation is seen as normal while abusive drinking is not tolerated.
Protecting Young People from Alcohol Abuse
The best method to protect young people from alcohol abuse is to equip them with the necessary knowledge to use alcohol responsibly. Young people who are taught about responsible consumption have a safe alternative if they choose to reject abstinence. The studies show that the majority of young people will choose to consume alcohol at some point. Just as alcohol is a part of society as a whole, it is a part of youth culture. For this reason, the most effective alcohol education programs for young people include a segment on the responsible consumption of alcohol. Young people who are taught about responsible alcohol consumption are better equipped to avoid alcohol abuse because they know the importance of pacing their alcohol consumption, eating while drinking and using a designated driver to get home safely. Additionally, young people whose parents have openly discussed the responsible consumption of alcohol with them are more likely to reach out to their parents for a safe ride home or to discuss the prevention of alcohol abuse.