Underage alcohol consumption has detrimental effects on the development of a healthy body and healthy brain. Student knowledge of the physiological consequences of drinking alcohol lessens the propensity to consume alcohol; however, social pressures and influences can override the protective effect of this knowledge. Capacity to resist the internal and external pressures, influences, and expectations to consume alcohol builds protection within the adolescent to remain alcohol free.
The teenage brain is predisposed to impulsive behavior and risk-taking as the executive functions managed by the frontal lobe develop. Adolescents who understand and can manage risk are better able to predict the outcomes of their actions enabling them to make better, more responsible decisions. Adolescents often underestimate the addictive nature and dangerous effects of the misuse and abuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Establishing a clear perception of harm about these drugs builds protection within adolescent to mitigate the risk of abuse.
Adolescents who recognize how their emotions influence their decisions are better prepared to make thoughtful, rational choices. Emotional self-awareness creates internal capacity to understand and identify how one responds to internal and external influences/stressors. Emotional competency fosters the recognition and appreciation of the emotions of others promoting a greater capacity to build empathy, diffuse conflict, and build stronger relationships.
Addiction is a serious and likely consequence of trying a drug. It is a common misconception among adolescents that experimental use will not lead to addiction. Adolescents who are aware of the addictive nature of drugs are less likely to experiment with drugs.
Adolescents often underestimate the addictive nature of prescription and over-the-counter drugs and the dangerous effects of their misuse and abuse. Establishing a clear perception of harm about these drugs builds protection within the adolescent to mitigate the risk of abuse. Adolescents who can differentiate fact from myth about the safety and use of any drug are more likely to resist drug use and remain on track to reach their goals.
All forms of tobacco and tobacco-related products are harmful to the body. Tobacco products contain the highly addictive chemical, nicotine. Social image is one reason teenagers begin to use tobacco-related products. This lesson demonstrates that nicotine use projects a negative social image rather than a positive image implied in popular culture.
Bonding with pro-social others fosters belonging and connectedness, mitigating the impact of risk factors on behavior. Peer selection skill, including the ability to make and maintain positive friendships, is a critical protective factor. Adolescents surrounded with positive influence make better, less-risky choices, and are more likely to reach their goals.