Unit 4 Understanding and Avoiding Hazardous Substances Copyright Goodheart-Willcox Co., Inc. 288 Media Messages Media messages may also contribute to alcohol use. Young people form attitudes about alcohol use by watching television and movies. Advertisements for alcohol products can also influence these attitudes. Films, even those marketed to young people, frequently show alcohol use. Young people who see drinking in movies tend to view alcohol use more positively. These young people are also more likely to plan to drink alcohol as adults. In addition, young people may model behavior and attitudes about alcohol use after their favorite celebrities. Do your favorite celebrities drink large amounts of alcohol every weekend and post about it on social media? Imitating this behavior can lead to negative effects on your health and life. Always remember to choose your role models wisely. Making IDEAL Decisions Do you know how to make healthy decisions in the best possible way for yourself? Making decisions in the adolescent years is tough. Your parents tell you one thing, while your friends may say something different. Movies, TV, and other media showcase yet another opinion. All the while, your gut may be telling you something very different. So, how should you make healthy decisions about alcohol and other health behaviors? Try the following IDEAL strategy: Identify the situation or problem Describe all the possible solutions Evaluate all those solutions Act on the best solution Learn from the experience When you are making a big decision, about alcohol or something else, it helps to write down your thoughts for each of the letters in the IDEAL strategy. If the situation is complicated, more than one problem may be involved. Remember that there are usually several possible solutions to any problem. It is okay, and even good, to get ideas for solutions from other people—your parents, friends, siblings, or teachers. When you evaluate these solutions, brainstorm and write a list of the pros and cons. Be careful though. Just because one option has more pros than another option does not necessarily mean it is the better choice. You have to account for how important each of those pros are to you and how you value them. For example, you may realize that making your parents proud of your decisions or doing well in sports may outweigh all the other pros involved. Once you have acted, be sure to reflect on the experience and learn from what happened. Think about what went well, and what you will do again in future situations. Also, consider the things you thought did not go well. What will you change if faced with a similar situation again? Using the IDEAL Process Think about a big decision you are facing. On a sheet of paper, use the steps in the IDEAL process to help you come up with the best choice. BUILDING Your Skills Your Skills I D E A L
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