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Peer and media influence on drug and alcohol use

In this group plan young people examine peer and media influence on drug and alcohol use, and confirm or establish their own limits.



  • Learn about substance abuse agencies in your area. Obtain their literature—find something that you can share with your kids.
  • Seek information about substance abuse in the local schools. Have there been any recent media issues involving drinking or drugs?
  • Edit video clips of beer commercials and movies and TV shows related to alcohol and drugs.
  • Make sure that any equipment needed is ready for use.


Consider any of the following ideas:

  • Jell-O-eating contest (any eating or drinking game).
  • Any game involving dizziness or difficult physical activity (e.g., spinning 20 times and jumping over a broom).
  • Songs.

This portion of the discussion should last no longer than 15 minutes.


  • Beer commercials (while showing ask, "What is the message of each?").
    • What is your favorite beer commercial?
    • When are they usually shown? Why?
    • Why are there usually no women?
    • What are the devices they use (e.g., jingles)?
    • What in these commercials would appeal to high school kids?
  • TV shows and movies. Based on the particular scenario, ask any of the following questions:
    • What is funny about this?
    • What is not funny?
    • Is this scene realistic?
    • Have you ever been in a situation like this?
    • How did it feel?
    • What advice would you give?
    • Do you think it would help? Why or why not?
    • What drugs are you aware of at your school?
    • At what point are drugs a problem?
    • At what point is alcohol a problem?
    • Do you know anybody with a problem habit?
    • Which person could you identify with the most?
    • What made you uncomfortable in watching this?
    • Did you hear anything you did not know before?


  • What drugs do people commonly take (e.g., caffeine, aspirin, cough syrup)?
  • Are drugs bad?
  • Is alcohol bad?
  • Is there any point in outlawing drugs?
  • What do you think of the drinking age in this state?
  • Why do people get drunk? Why do people get high? Is there a difference in the reasons?


  • Television exists to sell products and make advertising money for television stations.
  • You must take responsibility for your own behavior.
  • Kids do not start drinking by themselves.
Dean Borgman cCYS