Quick activity

Reasons that Teenagers Drink Alcohol: Class Activity

OurFutures alcohol module
Targeted Drugs:

This resource has undergone expert review.

Year 7–8
Time Allocated

1 lesson

Links to National Curriculum





Previously known as Climate Schools, OurFutures was developed by researchers based at the Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use at the University of Sydney, Australia. See the OurFutures website for more information.


  • Homework followed by class discussion.


  • Print or electronically share the attached class worksheet "Why do some teenagers drink alcohol" (optional).
  • Students will need time to interview people at home before the classroom lesson.


Part 1: Interviews

After receiving the worksheet, students should go home and interview 3 to 5 people and ask them why they believe teenagers drink alcohol. They will note the reasons and number of times each reason was brought up in the worksheet.

Part 2: 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 OurFutures 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 OurFutures has not been examined. The benefits of implementing the entire 6 session OurFutures program has been supported by multiple research studies, see OurFutures: Alcohol Module.

Page last reviewed: 24/07/2024

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