Underage drinking is a national concern that's leading to more injuries and deaths than people realize. In fact, nearly 11 million underage people consume alcohol in the United States alone.
The Community Health Needs Assessment of McLean County from 2013 illustrated youth substance use in McLean County exceeds the State of Illinois averages for 12th graders for alcohol usage in the past 30-days.
OSF St. Joseph Medical Center has partnered with Project Oz and BN Parents to provide each high school in Bloomington-Normal an additional resource to utilize in class to help reduce the incidence of underage drinking among high school students. The timing of the launch of this initiative comes right before prom season – where the incidence of drinking and driving, and alcohol-related accidents among teenagers increases nationwide.
The Underage Drinking Awareness Video package we’ve provided to each high school includes:
- “Harms of Underage Drinking” video – A 13-minute video focusing on statistics about drinking, drinking and driving, and the consequences of making poor choices to be shared with students during class.
- Video fact sheet – A fact sheet to help teachers establish solid, evidence-based talking points after the video is viewed. The fact sheet can be used as a quiz or as a review of the important statistics to cover during the class.
The video features OSF St. Joseph Emergency Department physician, Dr. Darrell Looney; OSF St. Joseph Emergency Department nurse, Brittiany Jacobs; as well as local high school students, EMS personnel, firefighters, and police officers.
“Our goal is to share accurate facts about alcohol and its consequences,” says Erin Kennedy, director, Center for Healthy Lifestyles at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center. “We want to make students aware that, contrary to hearsay, everyone is not drinking and they are in the majority if they make the choice to be alcohol-free. This knowledge allows them to be more comfortable making healthy choices.”
To view the video, “Harms of Underage Drinking,” please click here.