Reasons that Teenagers Drink Alcohol: Class Activity

  • Climate Schools logo - orange
  • Climate Schools logo - orange
Year: Year 7–8
Targeted Drugs:


Climate Schools was developed by researchers currently based at the Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use at the University of Sydney, Australia, formerly based at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), School of Psychiatry, and the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use at UNSW Sydney. See Climate Schools.


Two options:

  • Class discussion alone
  • Worksheet followed by class discussion.



Discussion Topic:

1. Ask your class to generate a list of reasons why teenagers drink alcohol.
The sorts of reasons may include:
  • To try something new
  • To escape from bad feelings
  • To experiment
  • To fit in with their friends
  • To have fun.
2. Ask the class to generate a list of reasons why some teenagers do not drink alcohol.
The sorts of reasons may include:
  • Religion
  • Don’t like the taste
  • Illegal
  • Want to wait until 18.
3. Ask the class to discuss some ideas of how people may stay safe if they are determined to drink alcohol.
4. Also get the class to discuss the idea that for each reason to drink alcohol, there may also be different ways to cope or achieve the goal - e.g., “to escape from bad feelings” it may be better to talk to someone, keep a diary or see a counsellor.


  • Students gain an understanding of some reasons that teenagers drink alcohol, and consider alternative options.

Evidence Base

Secondary teachers reviewed this and other Climate School activities, with 92.3% rating these activities as good or very good. This particular activity was among the most popular activities selected for implementation by teachers.

The benefits of implementing individual activities from the Climate schools has not been examined. The benefits of implementing the entire 6 session Climate schools program has been supported by multiple research studies, see Climate Schools: Alcohol Module.

Page last reviewed: 8 May 2019.