Why should the media care about underage drinking?

Media plays a key role in providing the community with information, facts, and other pieces of news. Knowing this, a media representative can also play a key role in clarifying public opinion and revealing public knowledge about underage and youth binge drinking.

Too many consider underage and youth binge drinking a rite of passage to adulthood. Significant research has identified this adult belief and the belief that there is nothing adults can do to change youth drinking behaviors as contributing factors.

Alcohol harms and kills more youth than all illegal drugs, combined. For American youth, alcohol contributes to the top three causes of preventable death; murder, suicide, and car crashes. Alcohol also contributes to preventable injuries from; burns, drowning, assaults, STDs, and addiction.

Here are some tips for media representatives and individuals with their own personal media social outlets to use to advance the efforts of alcohol awareness and substance abuse prevention:

  • Use unique position to advance social and public policy goals to reduce underage and youth binge drinking.
  • Become informed about the issues, solutions and “best practices.”
  • Cover stories about what is being done to prevent problems, not just report consequences of alcohol related incidences.
  • Develop PSA’s on dangers of underage and youth binge drinking to offset one-sided advertising messages that glamorize drinking.
  • Limit alcohol ad product placements to TV, radio, and magazines with majority adult only audiences.
  • Be an advocate for community change and challenge community assumptions.