The presentation is generally taught by 4-8 youth advocates and focuses on the ways in which the alcohol industry has used its advertising in misleading and deceptive ways in order to obscure the actual risks associated with alcohol use.
The presentation begins with a discussion of the alcohol industry’s advertising strategy: advertising by association. The student presenters discuss how the industry uses association-style advertising to connect alcohol with positive images, such as: people who have lots of friends, are athletic, are attractive, or who are having fun. The presenters emphasize that often the images used in the advertisements have nothing to do with the actual results of using the product. For example, alcohol causes loss of coordination and balance, slowed reaction time and impaired judgment and yet the alcohol industry frequently advertises using images of speeding race cars and race car drivers.
The presenters then go on to discuss how many of the images that the industry uses are particularly attractive to a young audience. The use of this type of advertising is problematic because it creates the impression in young people’s minds that alcohol use is risk-free, harmless and “everyone is doing it”. This situation is made worse by the reality that, in fact, alcohol is particularly harmful to underage drinkers since alcohol affects a teen’s brain differently than an adult’s. However, the student presenters point out that, of course, the alcohol industry won’t warn people of the actual consequences of using their product since that would hurt their profits.
In the core of this presentation the students emphasize the “Eight Consequences of Alcohol Use that the Alcohol Industry Won’t Warn You About”. In this section the students counter the impression that, as long as you are not driving, alcohol is risk-free.
The students use PowerPoint, video clips and news stories to illustrate actual circumstances where young people who used alcohol experienced these consequences. To illustrate how a person who has been drinking is vulnerable to someone taking advantage of them, for the past several years one of our members, Lyndsey Kadziauskas, has been telling her personal story of how alcohol left her unable to protect herself.
Lyndsey, tells the audience about being invited to a party in September of her freshman year in high school. At the party she had some mixed drinks and began to feel sick. She went into another room to lie down where she passed out and two boys at the party sexually assaulted her. Lyndsey tells the students what she learned about the risks of alcohol use and encourages the audience not to drink so that they don’t give up control over their situation and don’t lose their ability to look out for themselves. As Lyndsey got older and got out of school, she became less available to speak live. We made a video recording of her portion of the presentation and we use that in our presentation when she is not available.
To request a presentation of Eight Things by Dover Youth to Youth go to How to Schedule Us in the Resources section of this web site.