Preteens can now go to a "cool spot" to learn the facts about
drinking and alcohol problems.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has
developed a new Web site for middle-school students aged 11 to 13 that focuses
on alcohol-abuse prevention.
The Cool Spot incorporates eye-catching graphics and interactive games to
get students' attention and includes information on peer pressure and how to
resist it, the percentage of alcohol in certain drinks, the negative
consequences of heavy drinking, and the effect of alcohol on mood, among other
Children who log onto the Web site are engaged by animated characters based
on a popular Japanese comic book style called anime.
After reading the site's contents, visitors can take a 10-question
interactive quiz on the facts about alcohol and drinking.
The Cool Spot's content is based on a curriculum developed by
NIAAA-supported researchers at the University of Michigan and designed
specifically for middle-school students, according to a November 2004 NIAAA
The curriculum was used in a project called the Alcohol Misuse Prevention
Study, which sought to give preteens an accurate perspective about alcohol use
among their peers.
"It's 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," said NIAAA Director Ting-Kai Li,
M.D., in the press release.
The Cool Spot Web site can be accessed at<www.thecoolspot.gov>.▪