Binge-drinker gives teens a lecture

11th June 2004 at 01:00
Teenager Elizabeth Speakman does not remember going to hospital after a binge-drinking session with friends, but does recall waking up with a horrendous hangover to face a lecture from the doctor.

Now she has used her experience to create a presentation for teenagers as part of her A-level in communication studies on the dangers of drinking.

Elizabeth, 17, has already given her Tips 4 Teens PowerPoint presentation to 20 school nurses and Year 9 pupils at her former school, Sale grammar in Trafford.

Julia Carter, Trafford's senior health promotion adviser, said: "I'm sure those who have seen it will think twice about their alcohol consumption and the repercussions of losing control.

"This presentation has the right blend of fact, case study, visual evidence and humour."

Elizabeth was 15 years old when the incident occurred. "I went to a party at a friend's house and was sharing a bottle of vodka and mixing my drinks," she said. "I don't remember it, but my friend said I started throwing up. I was so bad my friends rang my parents and then rang for an ambulance. I ended up in Wythenshaw hospital.

"I remember waking up in the morning and hearing the machines next to me.

When I heard my mum's voice, I pretended I was asleep because I was so embarrassed. My parents were really ashamed of me."

She has not drunk much since and is now a student at South Trafford college. As well as communication studies, she is taking A-levels in art and sociology.

She said: "The coursework we were set was to design an artefact to communicate a message. We first had to think of who our target market was.

I thought I would target students because I am the same age, then I thought of drinking because that's what all students do."

Michael Speakman, her father, said: "Elizabeth has learned from her mistakes and we are very proud of what she has done. She has shown initiative and hopefully will help other teenagers not to get into the situation she found herself in."

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