What’s the best way to teach young adults about the dangers and impacts of alcohol?
“Throw a party,” says Jane Alleva, of South Carolina’s Keystone Substance Abuse Services.
According to Alleva, the prevention director at the county wide non-profit service that offers substance abuse prevention tools and services, a popular interactive presentation offered by Keystone makes use of a party atmosphere, popular stereotypes and Innocorp, Ltd.’s intoxiclock®, Fatal Vision® Impairment Goggles and Sum-it-Cup®.
The presentation—a combination of fun and games, and educational information—is most often given to mixed age groups of students, like college fraternities and sororities. Alleva, who added intoxiclock® to her presentation in August of 2008, said the “intoxiclock® gives credibility to the facts presented in the program.”
The highly interactive presentation begins with some questions to feel out the group. “We say we need six people who [party hard],” said Alleva. Those volunteers are asked to step outside while the rest of the group changes the set up of the room to resemble a party.
“We invite them back in and we have it set up like a party,” said Alleva, adding that “mock tail” bottles are placed around the room with a flip cup table in a central place.
“We chose [flip cup] because we asked our community: ‘What is the most popular drinking game?’ and that won.”
Alleva said flip cup is also ideal for use with intoxiclock® because participants drink so much in such a small amount of time, and rarely realize exactly how much alcohol they have taken in.
The party time is followed by a quiz of the crowd—asking questions about the party goers’ ability to drive a vehicle, ability to consent, or need for emergency care, based on what the crowd thinks the volunteers’ intoxication level would be.
“We have done this dozens of times and the participants have gotten it wrong every time,” said Alleva.
Alleva says they follow the groups’ blood alcohol estimates with a big screen presentation of real information from the intoxiclock®.
“People are usually very surprised,” said Alleva. “I think what the intoxiclock® does is make it scientific.”
The party going volunteers are also asked to wear Fatal Vision® goggles that match the actual B.A.C. levels they would have after the amount of “alcohol” they consumed. They do Fatal Vision® activities and learn what it would feel like to be that impaired. Using the products together, with Fatal Vision® acting as a follow through activity after the intoxiclock® provides a more lasting impact, according to Alleva.
The intoxiclock® product holds much more than shock value.
Alleva said it lends credibility to the facts her organization states, and allows them to have better discussions with young adults in Generation Y who require scientific proof rather than a list of facts.
“We have to take it into a real life scenario that gives them hands on, scientific, “prove-it-to-me” knowledge,” said Alleva.
According to Alleva, adding proof to already well-known facts is an eye-opener for many of her participants, and including intoxiclock® in her organization’s presentations has contributed to the impact and success of her message. Alleva’s organization provides a wonderful example of how using the products together, first intoxiclock® , then Fatal Vision® goggles and Sum-It-Cup®, can give deeper meaning to the educational experience and really help drive the message home.
Another Keystone program activity makes use of the Sum-It-Cup®
How to throw a memorable and educational party
The basic rules and set up details of Flip Cup
At the start of the race, the first member of each team drinks his or her beverage. When finished, the cup is placed face up at the edge of the table, and the player who drank it attempts to flip the cup until it rests face down on the table. If he or she is not successful on the first try, the cup must be reset and re-flipped. Only after the first teammate is done flipping the cup successfully, can the next person proceed. Whichever team finishes drinking and flipping all its cups first is the winner.