The Cool Spot – (New Alcohol Prevention Website for Middle Age Schoolers)
Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
The NIAAA has released a new version of The Cool Spot, the institute's website for middle school (11- to 13-year-old) children. The Cool Spot uses engaging games and graphics to deliver important messages about the risks of underage drinking and ways to resist peer pressure. It is vital to reach this age group, because the younger people are when they start to drink, the higher their chances of developing an alcohol problem at some point in their lives. Research shows that more than 4 in 10 people who start drinking before age 15 eventually become alcohol dependent.
The Cool Spot's new content is largely based on curriculum for grades 6-8 developed by NIAAA-supported researchers at the University of Michigan. The curriculum was used in a large-scale, multi-year project called the Alcohol Misuse Prevention Study (AMPS). One goal of AMPS was to give young teens a clearer picture about alcohol use among their peers. Teens tend to overestimate how much other teens drink. But when they are provided with accurate information about peer-group drinking habits, teens may feel less pressure to drink. Other goals of AMPS were to help kids learn skills to resist pressure to drink and to give them reasons not to drink.
Link to the Institutes Website:
(Date Grant Summary Prepared: December 3, 2004)