Through games, students learn dangers of drinking

GROGGY: St Edmund’s student Xavier Vela tries to walk a straight line while wearing beer goggles, assisted by Griffith University’s Timo Dietrich.
GROGGY: St Edmund’s student Xavier Vela tries to walk a straight line while wearing beer goggles, assisted by Griffith University’s Timo Dietrich. Claudia Baxter

A UNIVERSITY program designed to educate school kids about the dangers of drinking has turned its attention to students at St Edmund's College.

Researchers from Griffith University visited 200 of the school's Year 10 students to conduct the Game On: Know Alcohol program.

Research shows young people are 239 times more likely to see an alcohol advertisement than an advert promoting safe drinking.

The students were educated through a series of interactive games aimed at giving the "drunken" experience.

It included the students wearing beer goggles, giving the illusion of having a blood alcohol content nearing 0.200.

St Edmund's is one of 20 Queensland schools taking part in the Griffith University research into changing teenage attitudes towards alcohol.

The project is funded by the $162,810 Linkage Project grant awarded by the Australian Research Council earlier this year.

Griffith University department of marketing researcher Timo Dietrich said teenage attitudes to risky drinking can be changed for the better, using a combination of classroom education and social marketing

"We are not telling young people what to do, but by taking part in the day we believe students will learn from their experience and their behaviour intentions will change for the better," Mr Dietrich said.

"In a world where teenagers are exposed to alcohol-related marketing messages each day, we are offering an alternative message that lets teenagers know they have a choice."

Associate Professor Sharyn Rundle-Thiele said the aim of the project was to improve teenagers' knowledge of alcohol consumption.

"Our aim is to educate students about the effects of alcohol, give knowledge of standard drinks and provide a range of strategies to minimise alcohol consumption," she said.

Topics:  griffith university st edmund's college

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