BBC2 is to highlight the devastating effects of excessive drinking on teenagers with a programme on Wednesday this week.
UK teenagers who do drink, drink more, according to the NHS Information Centre.
Produced by Evans Woolfe Media with support from the The Alcohol Education Trust, the programme, called Just a Few Drinks, features four young people whose lives have been dramatically affected by drinking too much alcohol.
It will be aired on BBC2 at 4.30pm on Wednesday to coincide with half term in the UK this week, and then on BBC i-player for a week.
Following this, the films will be added to the online BBC Learning Zone where they can be viewed on demand, and it will be embedded in the Alcohol Education Trust website.
The programme will contain highly personal accounts of how an evening’s drinking led to a sequence of events that changed the lives of Emily 17, Alan 16, Anna 17 and Jordon now 18.
For example, one film will focus on Alan, who, aged 14, found that drinking boosted his self-confidence, giving him the courage to challenge a group of lads who were insulting his friend. However, they threw Alan into a bus shelter, shattering his collar-bone, and putting an abrupt end to all hopes of making it as goalkeeper. Two years after the incident, Alan’s sleep is still disrupted by the pain.
Each story is interspersed with graphics, which explain in detail the chemical and biological processes that were taking place in the four teenagers’ bodies as they were drinking.
Statistics included in the programme make it clear how many young people in the UK suffer as a result of excessive drinking – for example, nearly 50% of 15 year olds who’ve been drunk recently have suffered some negative consequences.
And while the number of 11–15 year olds who drink alcohol regularly has fallen by half over the last ten years, (from 26% in 2001 to 12% in 2011) those that do drink, drink more, according to the NHS Information Centre.
The films were produced in consultation with PSHE teachers and a number of charities, including The Alcohol Education Trust.
“The films show dramatically how too much alcohol has a devastating effect on the immature body, and how things can easily get out of hand with long term consequences,” said Helena Conibear, director of The Alcohol Education Trust.
Just a Few Drinks was commissioned by Katy Jones for BBC Learning Zone and will provide a resource for schools across the UK.