A Math Teacher at an Arizona High School was arrested on August 13 after a student noticed that she was drunk in class. The principal and a school guard entered the classroom and confronted the teacher. Although she initially denied the charges, she soon admitted that she drank the night before and that morning. She also reported that she took a taxi to school because she was too drunk to drive.
Although this was a sad event for students who might have had a positive relationship with this teacher, perhaps it was also an example for teens on how alcohol can be damaging to one’s life leading to alcohol abuse or addiction.
Drinking can be a difficult topic for teens especially when it’s an issue of peer pressure. Teens want to fit in. They want to be accepted by their friends, even those friends are drinking and encouraging them to drink. And it’s easy to get pressured into a drinking scene because from a distance, it looks like fun.
Here are a few things teens can do to keep drinking to a minimum, or better, to avoid drinking altogether:
- Go out early in the night when most people are still somewhat sober, and leave early before the night gets too carried away.
- Bring only enough money with you to get back and forth from home. If you’re riding with your friends, then go out with as little money as you feel comfortable with. This will keep you from spending money on drinks when you’re tempted.
- If you do decide to participate in the ritual of ordering something at the bar, get yourself a non-alcoholic drink. You can stay cool with a drink in your hand, but not have to manage the hangover in the morning.
- Ask your friends to keep an eye on you so that the allure of drinking doesn’t tempt you. From a distance, it looks fun, but you know you’ll regret it later.
- Stay communicative with your parents. Tell them where you’re going and when you’ll be back. This will also be a way of being held accountable to a non-drinking lifestyle.
It’s difficult to say no to drinking when you’re a teen. Most social gatherings seem to center around a bar or house party. And it’s only going to get worse in college. If you can cultivate a non-drinking life now, you’ll more easily be able to say no to alcohol in college.
In addition to seeing the Arizona Math teacher get arrested, teens are faced with the consequences of drinking all the time. The media is filled with stories about celebrities who get drunk, arrested for a DUI, and later enter a rehabilitative treatment center. In 2001, for example, Ben Affleck entered rehab for alcohol abuse and remained sober for over a decade. Lindsay Lohan was arrested twice for a DUI in 2007 and Johnny Depp admitted that he had a serious alcohol addiction that was destroying his life. However, he managed to stop drinking and end his addition.
Perhaps the above list and the consequences to drinking seen in the media can help teens build a life without alcohol. Better, perhaps teens can build a life without drugs in general and never suffer from the cycle of addiction.
Gertzman, M. (August 14, 2014). Teacher Accused of Being Drunk At School. AZFamily. Retrieved August 15, 2014 from: http://www.azfamily.com/news/Teacher-accused-of-being-drunk-at-school-271259201.html