Alcohol Lesson for Kids: Facts & Effects

Instructor: Shelley Vessels

Shelley has taught at the middle school level for 10 years and has a master's degree in teaching English.

While it's a widely-used substance, it doesn't mean consuming alcohol comes without risks. Read the following lesson to learn what happens each time a person drinks and some long-terms effects alcohol has on the body.

Is Alcohol Harmless?

You may see adults celebrating with champagne on New Year's Eve, guests drinking cocktails at restaurants, and family members having beers at a barbecue. There are beer commercials on TV and advertisements in nearly every professional baseball park in the nation. Some grocery stores even carry it. While it's hard not to see alcohol as you go about your daily life, does that mean it's harmless? Not so fast. Alcohol is a dangerous drug - yes, drug - that should only be consumed (sparingly and responsibly - if at all) by legal adults.

Alcohol comes in many forms

Alcohol Effects

Even with just a small amount of alcohol, a body can change significantly in the short-term. Alcohol quickly moves through the bloodstream, and gets carried throughout the body while slowing messages coming and going from the brain.

When a person has his or her first few sips of alcohol, it's likely the person's mood is happy and feels relaxed. However, these moods can shift quite rapidly with each drink, moving to and from depression and confusion. With the body taking more than an hour to break down even a small bit of alcohol, the following negative short-term effects can last for a while:

  • Alcohol can cause some pretty uncomfortable things like: diarrhea, nausea, headaches, vomiting, and shortness of breath.
  • Alcohol causes some pretty embarrassing and/or dangerous things, too, like: slurred speech, decreased coordination, decreased perception, lack of judgment, confusion, severe sleepiness, and memory lapses.

Alcohol Facts

Alcoholism - a dangerous dependence on alcohol - affects approximately one in twelve adults in the United States and about half of families have someone suffering from this addiction. How scary! Alcoholics are people who physically cannot resist the urge to drink; it has little to do with how much someone drinks or how often, and more to do with physical and psychological reliance.

Everyone who consumes alcohol - especially those who do on a regular basis - should consider these facts before picking up the next drink:

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