National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Releases Web Resource for Middle School

Photo of middle schoolers sitting at a table.

Underage drinking is a significant public health problem in the United States. As part of its efforts to raise awareness of and combat underage drinking, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has launched NIAAA for Middle School. NIAAA for Middle School is an online resource that helps parents, caregivers, and teachers introduce and reinforce key messages about peer pressure and skills for resisting it, as well as about other important topics related to underage drinking.

“Early initiation of alcohol consumption increases the risk of a wide range of harmful consequences during adolescence and adulthood,” said NIAAA Director George F. Koob, Ph.D. “We created NIAAA for Middle School knowing that alcohol intervention efforts started at a young age can positively influence a young person’s path in life.”

NIAAA for Middle School contains sections focusing on the dangers of underage drinking, on peer pressure, and on skills for resisting peer pressure. These three sections begin with an overview providing background information and end with print-friendly handouts and interactive activities designed for kids ages 11 to 13. The handouts and activities can be used at home, in classrooms, or in after-school programs. An additional section includes important resources on treatment, support, and mental and physical health. These resources can help with school projects about alcohol.

NIAAA for Middle School replaces and continues the objectives of the long-standing and very popular Cool Spot website. Like the former Cool Spot, NIAAA for Middle School is grounded in the Alcohol Misuse Prevention Study (AMPS) from the University of Michigan. One goal of AMPS was to give students a clearer picture about alcohol use among their peers because it is often less than they think. Other goals of AMPS were to help students learn skills to resist pressure to drink and to give them reasons not to drink.

You can find NIAAA for Middle School online now.