Pediatricians To Discourage Teen Drinking?

I was reading the USA Today earlier (now that I’m back from vacation) and it has this whole article about “pediatricians need to work hard to discourage children and teens from drinking alcohol.”  Really?

That seems like a role for people other than the pediatrician.  Unresponsible drinking is certainly a problem:

  • Major contributor to the leading causes of teen deaths – accidents, homicide, suicide.
  • Increases the chances that teens engage in other risky behaviors.
  • Affects developing brains and general health.

Their statistics are:

  • >90% of high school seniors and 60% of 8th graders say alcohol is easy to get.
  • 29% of high school students report riding in a car 1+ times in the past month with someone who had been drinking.
  • 10.5% had driven a car in the past month after they had been drinking.

I always thought the most effective way to discourage drinking and driving was to park that crashed up car in front of the schools to serve as a visual reminder.  Probably today, you could create a virtual reality drinking experience that shows how bad your responses are and your likelihood to impact your life.

But, I can’t see pediatricians having enough access to students in their influential years (which I would consider grade 6 and above) and making a convincing arguement by taking about the damage to the developing brain. 

This is an issue which requires parential guidance and is massively impacted by social norms.  Do their friends drink?  Do their parents drink?  When?  How much?  Why?  Are they allowed to drink responsibly at home (like Europeans for example)? 

We have to culturally teach our kids the right view of alcohol.  If we paint it in the wrong light, it will be abused. 

Now, if you’re interested in why many of the facts about drinking are overstated and the agenda behind that, you can go to alcoholfacts.org or alcoholinformation.org[Note: I’ve only skimmed these pages which seem someone opinionated and counter to much of what I’ve seen.  I did see a few points I agreed with, but I’m only presenting a counter-opinion.]

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