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Author Topic: Alcohol
Szymon
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I was to USA only once, when I was thirteen so I didnt learn much about alcohol because I didnt drink then and because I didnt care;)

My country, Poland, is very well known for large vodka consumption (well said;), perhaps not as large as Russia, but close. It is rather true.

It is against the law in Poland to buy and drink alcohol under 18. Usually young people begin to drink about the age of 14, maybe 15. Hardly any 18-year-old doesnt drink at all.

Beer is naturally the most popular drink, for it is cheap and tasty (thats my opinion;). Vodka is cheap, but we drink it only on parties, you dont usually go to restaurant and order vodka, do you?

Wine is getting more and more popular, but still is too expensive (I mean, the real wine). The cheapest bottle of wine costs in Poland just as much as one litre of vodka.

My question is- how does the American "culture" of drinking alcohol look like? Is it normal to get drunken being a 16-year-old? What is the most popular alcohol? How old does one must be to buy alcohol? And what is your most favourite alcohol?

(Mine: on the very very very very very first place is beer Guinness, then Murhpy's and maybe Beamish. I dont like vodka, and I know little about wines, but I rather like them. Most popular Polish beers are Zywiec and Tyskie (pils). There are very few ales, porters, draughts and so on.

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Euripides
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Perhaps this is not answering your question, but I live in Australia and the situation is basically the same. De jure drinking age is 18, most start much earlier. Beer is most popular, but kids who fancy themselves as adventurous like vodka and spirits.
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Little_Doctor
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The drinking age in the U.S. is 21. Laws are more strictly enforced here than in Europe in my opinion. It's still common for teenagers to drink here, but we have to be sneaky about it. It can cause a lot of trouble with the law.
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Jhai
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Despite the higher age limit, there's a decent amount of underage drinking that happens in the U.S. A lot of the 16+ high school students drink - normally they get the alcohol from a friend of a friend, have a fake id, or know some place that doesn't card (check an id to make sure you're over 21). I'd say the vast majority of college students drink - and most college students are between the ages of 18-22. Typically the older students buy it for the younger ones, or certain fraternities (houses containing a bunch of males who swear some sort of "brotherhood" pack together) throw parties.

There's a big difference in the attitude between Europe & the US, though. I lived in Germany when I was 17, and I know that, while the law may say 18, almost no one cares. In the US, the police and other authorities do care, but it happens under wraps anyways. Much more dangerous, I think, because teenagers are hiding it, and there's no one around to teach the kids how to drink safely (ie when to stop) or there in case of an emergency.

I'm fond of beers (not disgusting American beer like Budwiser, though), wine (I'm from California), vodka mixed with orange juice or Redbull, rum & coke, and tequila shots with salt & lime. Ah, it's lovely finally being 21. On Thursday our entire Philosophy Senior Seminar class (including the professor) will be going down to the bar. [Smile]

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quidscribis
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I'm from Canada, where the legal drinking age varies province to province from 18 to 21. I'm not a drinker, never have, so have no favorites or any experiences to share. I know quite a few others who also don't drink, but they're usually strongly religious (usually, not always).

I know many who started drinking at 12 or 13, but that was also in small hick-town Alberta where there was nothing to do and that particular town was uber pathetic. I'd agree with previous assessments that most start drinking around 15 or 16-ish.

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KarlEd
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If America has an "alcohol culture" at all, it's a schizophrenic one. We are constantly bombarded with advertisements about how good and fun drinking is. College life drunken parties are a veritable cliche. On the other hand, there is a strong movement that would have you believe if you take a single drink you are unfit to drive a car, parent a child, or do just about anything else. Like so many things in America, the sensible middle ground is lost between the screaming extremes.

I don't care for beer. I do drink hard cider, and of those I think Woodchuck draft is the best. Vodka is probably the most sold liquor in the US, but I think that is because it is the most versatile mixer and has the most advertising dollars behind it. Personally, I prefer tequila, gin, and rum. To me Vodka just tastes like alcohol. The others have a more definite flavor all their own. More than liquor, I tend to drink liqueurs, and then more in the winter than in summer. I like to try many different kinds of liqueurs, but my absolute favorite is Liqueur de Frigolet which you can only get in the EU. (They don't export to the US. [Frown] )

As you can guess, I don't really have a problem with people drinking. I think the only thing morally questionable about drinking under age (21 in the US) in and of itself* is that it is breaking a rather arbitrary law. I think there is a heathly attitude one can have about alcohol and there can be a healthy place for it in a culture. I think the extremes in America make it nearly impossible to find that healthy attitude as a culture.

As for myself, I never had a drop of alcohol until I was 27, but that was for religious reasons.

* I think binge drinking under age is a serious problem. I don't think, however, there should be anything wrong with teaching kids the proper place for alcohol and letting them experiment in moderation and with supervision. I still think marketing and selling to kids should be illegal, and probably also giving alcohol to a minor that is not your legal ward. Regardless, while I would support some changes in the current laws, I also do not think they should be disobeyed while they are still active laws.

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Farmgirl
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Much also depends on where you live. In the very rural area I grew up, drinking was very common for those 14-18 -- there is a great deal of peer pressure to do so, and in the country it is very easy to get around the law. It is almost considered part of the "country/redneck" mentality to have consumed alcohol in high school; and most parties there revolved around that.
Rural high schools are trying to combat this, of course, and the culture may be changing some.

FG

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Szymon
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What are these religious reasons? I dont know too much about religions, so in which cant you drink? Muslim? Some protestant?

I always wondered why is the drinking age so high in the USA. It is so unnatural, that you get your driving license while 16, (and its easy, I heard) and go to the army as 18. You can die for your Motherland, but cannot drink beer? What is more dangerous- going to war, driving a car or drinking alcohol. I am aware of health hazards that go with drinking, but hey, 21? Alcohol is a part of western civilisation (lets say that Poland is western;)

I, personally, was well educated and raised by my parents. They taught me never to drink too much, because it stupid. And so I dont. It isnt fun to throw up (well, somehow I know;) after drinking. But I prefer whisky to vodka, draught to pils.

Aha, and my most favourite drink is long island iced tea:) Delicious.

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quidscribis
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Yes, it's against Muslim's beliefs to drinks, and also against LDS (Mormon) beliefs to drink. I believe there are other religions that prohibit it, but I don't remember which off-hand.
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KarlEd
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Mormonism forbids the drinking of alcohol because of a doctrine known as the Word of Wisdom. This doctrine is based on text that Mormons believe is latter-day revealed scripture, through their prophet Joseph Smith.

I was raised Mormon and taught not to drink at all. When I left the church, I eventually experimented with alcohol, but taught myself how to drink responsibly.

My "most favourite drink" is the Margarita.

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Storm Saxon
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quote:

I always wondered why is the drinking age so high in the USA. It is so unnatural, that you get your driving license while 16, (and its easy, I heard) and go to the army as 18.

One answer is that younger people drive like crap, even without alcohol.

Another answer is that it's part of a larger temperance push in America.

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Stephan
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We are a nation founded by puritans.
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Storm Saxon
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The Puritans drank beer.
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Storm Saxon
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Actually, I think they drank liquor, too.
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Primal Curve
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Bourbon Old Fashioned man here.
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Nato
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I can drink a puritan under the table any day [Big Grin]


But seriously, I know dozens of minors who are responsible enough to handle alcohol and a couple who probably aren't. Is that enough to justify making it illegal? I don't think so, but it certainly is enough for some people to think so. There certainly would be some alcohol-related tragedies among the 18-20 set that are currently avoided, but there are two sides to that coin as well: I have known several people who were suffering from mild alcohol poisoning and neither they nor their friends wanted to take them to the hospital for fear of getting in trouble (They were more worried about their parents than the police, however.)

I didn't drink until I was 19 or so, and when I tried it I was surprised at how it felt to be tipsy. I didn't feel like I had lost control of anything, I was just a little tingly. I overdo the drinking on rare occasion, but I have never put my self in an unsafe situation because of alcohol (except in danger of getting sick, I guess [Razz] ).

Take responsibility for your own actions and help others when they need it is my philosophy about alcohol I guess.

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Primal Curve
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Alcohol by BNL is a great song and really encapsulates my feelings about drinking. Look up the lyrics to see them all, but here's an exerpt:
quote:
I thought that alcohol was just for those with nothing else to do.
I thought that drinking just to get drunk was a waste of precious booze,
But now I know that theres a time and theres a place where I can choose
To walk the fine line between self-control and self-abuse.


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The Pixiest
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I didn't drink beyond a sip until I was in my mid 20s. Because I am related someone with a control problem, I didn't want to risk falling into the same trap and becoming an obnoxious drunk.

However, I find that I don't have the control problem and in fact I don't like the feel of being tipsy. So one drink is plenty for me.

I like girly drinks like strawberry margaritas.

PC: I'm going to have that song in my head all day.

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pH
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My parents are "everything in moderation" kind of people. I started drinking at 16. My mom used to buy me wine for New Year's because I don't like champagne. Oh, and my current drink of choice is vodka tonic.

-pH

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Belle
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quote:
My "most favourite drink" is the Margarita.
You and me both, darling. I am one of those people who doesn't drink to get drunk but honestly enjoys the taste of some alcholic beverages and really enjoys trying new wines, especially regional ones. Anytime we travel I try to find out if there is a local vineyard we can visit.

My husband and I have no problem with moderate consumption of alcohol. The main reason we drink so rarely is because, frankly, it's expensive. The last drink I had was a glass of red wine at Thanksgiving. I will occasionally drink if we go out, but usually my husband will drink a couple of beers and I'll drink Coca-Cola and I'll drive home. I don't think my husband's ability to drive disappears if he has two beers, but it's better to be safe than sorry, so neither of will drive after drinking unless, like at Thanksgiving, four or five hours passed between the consumption of the alcohol and the drive home.

I think Karl is right that a sensible middle ground is hard to find. I don't want to teach my kids that drinking is evil and should never be done because I think that attitude is a bit unreasonable, but neither do I want them to think alcohol is something they should indulge in freely. It's one of those tough parenting issues. We do talk openly with them about it and let them know how we feel so they are aware of it.

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Alcon
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quote:
My parents are "everything in moderation" kind of people.
My parents are the same, and probably woulda let me have a beer or two at home when I was pretty young had I wanted. But DARE succeeded in brain washing me pretty well, so I was actually giving them a hard time about drinking during much of high school and middle school.

When I finally got over that and started drinking this summer they were downright relieved [Smile] I hadn't touched a drop of alcohol till my 20th birthday. And since then I've never gotten sick, I stick to moderation. It's probably helped by the fact that my body seems to have a built in shut off valve: I stop having fun while drinking after about 5 or 6 drinks. I feel like I have a high fever and all the blood has rushed to my head. I also mostly snap out of it, inhibitions return, fully aware and the like. I've done that once since I started. I have fun after about 4 though.

As for the drinking culture here, at Skidmore anyway, we don't have frat houses. So no frat parties. But drink is easy enough to get ahold of anyway. Pretty much just ask any of your upper classman friends. There is also plenty of alcohol available at parties. Campus Po does try and cut back on it, but they're not that good at it. And the only people who really care is Residential Life. No one else does, the prof's included.

The result is that the cultures pretty easy going. I really like it. Skidmore is closer to Europe in it's drinking culture in a lot of ways.

As for favorites, I'd have to go with beer. I've tried vodka and some mixed drinks. But there's nothing like a good beer, my favorite being Newcastle Brown Ale. I hate straight vodka, it just tastes like rubbing alcohol.

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TheGrimace
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I don't have a significant problem with drinking, and at least on occasion I will drink and often-enough enough to get at least somewhat drunk.

Nato, I do have a problem with your assessment of responsible teens. not that I think the age 21 is some magic number where people are suddenly more responsible, but about half the mid-twenties that I know don't know how to handle alcohol responsibly, so my arbitrary statistics about nullify yours =p

In general though I do think we're much better off educating teens and college-age individuals on how to safely handle alcohol rather than just straight up saying "drinking is bad." Knowing your tolerances is infinitely more useful than being completely unfamiliar with the stuff. And the fact that we largely don't talk about it I think makes it a lot more likely that kids are going to get sick and/or do some really stupid things when they first start drinking. (knowing things like Everclear and Absynth are bad etc..)

as for personal preference:
Margaritas, Long Island Iced-Tea when I'm looking to feel it, Octane 180 (I've only ever seen it at one bar back at school) and my "grown-up" drinks gin&tonic or vodka tonic.

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Dan_raven
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Does anyone have any good statistics on Deaths due to DWI for older teens before and after drinking age limits were raised, similar details on teen-age pregnancies.

These are the two main reasons given for limiting alcohol consumption.

I've known teen age girls who would brag about how fast they could pass out at a party.

I've known teen age guys who would calmly explain that when they drive drunk, they drive better.

While I won't take my ancedotal accounts as evidencs, I do believe that their are statistics which support keeping a high minimum drinking age.

Let me note that I am not a drinking man.

I do have several addictions.

I am addicted to 2 mind altering substances

1) Books
2) Hatrack.

I am addicted to 2 mind killing substance

1) TV
2) Puns.

I do have one admitted chemical addiction.

Chocolate.

So I just don't find the time to add alcohol to the list.

Besides, I discovered in high school--alcohol is the world's best spectator sport.

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BaoQingTian
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quote:
Originally posted by Belle:
I don't want to teach my kids that drinking is evil and should never be done because I think that attitude is a bit unreasonable

I will certainly teach my children that drinking is wrong for them to do and should never be done. I consider it to be very reasonable, at least as far as religious beliefs can be.
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Alcon
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quote:
quote:Originally posted by Belle:
I don't want to teach my kids that drinking is evil and should never be done because I think that attitude is a bit unreasonable

Originally posted by BaoQingTian: I will certainly teach my children that drinking is wrong for them to do and should never be done. I consider it to be very reasonable, at least as far as religious beliefs can be.

I'm with you Belle, if I did -- or perhaps I'll be more optimistic and say: when I do, have kids I'll not teach them that drinking is evil. In fact I'll probably go the way of letting them drink a little at home if they want to. Where I can teach them how not to get sick or over do it, and also how to properly enjoy it [Smile]
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blacwolve
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I'm a bit of an anomaly as far as drinkers is the US. I didn't drink before I turned 21. Oh, I had sips of this and that, but never an actual drink. I could have, but I didn't want to.

I turned 21 this summer, since then I've been drinking a little. I've still never been drunk. I'm planning to this Christmas Break though, by playing a Buffy drinking game. I think that is an appropriate way for me to get drunk for the first time.

My boyfriend's 21st was this Tuesday, so I went to my first bar. It was a nice experience, and I'd like to go back. However, it was really expensive, so that's going to have to wait until I have a job.

Of the drinks I've sampled I like beer. A lot. I haven't had enough beer to be discerning about it. The draft Guinness we had at the bar the other night was amazing. I like White Russians, but only when I make them, I like more kahlua and less vodka. I also like red wines, but can't stand white or pink ones. In general, I don't like sweet drinks, or drinks with too much hard alcohol in them.

I'm still trying things out and figuring out what I like, though. It may turn out that with practice I can handle hard alcohol. I might become a beer snob. I'm looking forward to finding out.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Alcohol by BNL is a great song and really encapsulates my feelings about drinking.
I love that song myself. [Smile]
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BlueWizard
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Some disturbing trends that I've notice in alcohol use in the USA.

First a preliminary note: I'm generalizing, of course there are plenty of exceptions to what I'm going to say, but none the less I think there is some validity to my statements.

Schizophrenic Alcohol Attitudes-

That is very true in the USA. On one hand TV, movies, and advertising make alcohol look cool and promote its use. Meanwhile there are groups who make it their life's mission to denounce acohol as the spawn of the devil; evil to the core.

Reasonable people know that neither position is correct. It is hard to say the alcohol is evil when everyone in the Bible including Jesus is drinking it. Though there are logical reasons for that. So, I really don't think promoting alcohol as evil is going to turn anyone away from it.

Reasonable people also know that a safe sane and logical approach to alcohol is to embrace the middle ground; moderation in all things. Unfortunately, people are far more influenced by cultural attitudes than logic and reason.

Age and Alcohol-

Currently there is a Federal Law that sets the drinking age at 21. States are free to refuse IF they want to give up many many millions of dollars in Federal Aid, so no states have set the legal drinking age lower than the Federally mandated 21.

However, in the not too distant past, the Federal Government allowed the drinking age to be as low as 18. My personal experience was that this caused few problems. However, some people started to complain, and when the government was considering raising it back to 21, the kids age 18 to 20 did nothing to make their voice heard. I was over 21 so I couldn't see any reason why I should fight for it, if the people who were affected weren't willing to fight. So, it was changed to age 21 nation wide.

At one point, this matter was left strictly to the individual states. In Minnesota, which is somewhat liberal, cities could decide for themselves with in the state law how the wanted to handle alcohol. For example, Minneapolis even today is considered a 'dry' city. Yes, there are many liquor stores but the generally close very early on Friday and Saturday nights. In some cases around 8:30pm. Thought they are open to 10:00pm on weekdays.

Iowa back in the 'old days' was considered a dry state. Licensed taverns could sell beer, but no hard liquor. Hard liquor could only be purchased at State run liquor stores. Each person had a ration of liquor and strict records were kept. When ever you went into any liquor store anywhere in the state, you had to present you 'liquor book' and have the purchase recorded. Though, the changes in Federal law has allowed, year ago, the sale of liquor by the drink and turned liquor store over to private enterprise. Also, the state decided it was a liability for them to be in the liquor business.

Wisconsin, on the other hand, has always been a very liberal state. An for many many years the legal drinking age for beer was 18. It was very common for kids from border towns to cross into Wisconsin to do their drinking. There is even a stretch of road between Minneapolis and the Wisconsin border the the Minnesota Highway Patrol has named 'Death Alley'. Though that is more media hype than reality.

The point of this little history lesson is that back when it was left up to the states, it varied greatly. I suspect down south there were even states that were completely dry; no alcohol sold.

Though, despite the current drinking age, I will admit there are high school and underage college drinking parties going on all the time. The problem is, when the drinking age was 18, 18 year olds were in a bar with other people who tended to moderate their behavior. At high school and college parties, there is no one to set limits and establish reasonable boundaries.

Cultural Differences -

Again, this is a generalization, but I think there is some truth to it. In Europe, I think drinking is more culturally ingrained, and because of this younger people are introduce to drinking at a younger age but under much more controlled situations like family dinners, holidays, and other times when the amount is very strictly controlled by adults, and the presents of adults assures that behavior doesn't get out of control. So, kids are taught to drink reasonably in a social context, and by the time they are able to legally drink they have it in perspective and, within the limit of youthful enthusiasm, are able to drink much more moderately.

In the USA, this ingrained culture, the presences of alcohol in a moderated and controlled context, isn't there. Keeping mind that the USA doesn't have a 1,000 year of history and civilization to draw on. Our culture developed out of the wild wild anything goes west. Consequently a lot of adults are not able to teach responsible drinking because they are not themselves responsible drinker.

My view of drinking by most high school and collage age kids is that they are hell bend on trying to get as close to death as they possible can without crossing the line. Drinking games at high school and college parties are very common. As an example, in some places it is something of a tradition to go out to the bars at midnight on the morning of your 21st birthday and drink 21 shots of 'whatever' (tequila, whisky, voda, etc...) sometimes in 21 minutes. Who in their right mind would think this was a good idea? All drinking games hinge on getting as blind stinking drunk as you possible can as fast as you possibly can. Like I said, you try to get as close to death as you can without actually crossing the line. Sadly, fatal alcohol poisoning happens frequently on college campuses.

Why does this happen? I say it is because kids teach kids how to drink, rather than responsible adults teaching kids how to drink in a reasonable balanced and moderate way.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure binge drinking occurs everywhere in Europe, but I doubt that it is at the same percentages and with the same underlying purpose as is found in the USA.

Evils of Alcohol-

I think it is a mistake for parent to try to convince their kids that alcohol is totally evil. That is an unrealistic approach and one that is counter by every other source of information they have.

I think it is far better to teach your kids the POTENTIALLY distructive aspects of alcohol abuse. To teach them the warning sign that they are likely to have problems with alcohol. For example, at a college drinking party, the more alcohol you can drink the higher you preceived status. But the reality is that if you have a very high capacity for alcohol, you most like have an even higher likelihood of having problems with alcohol that will negatively affect your whole life. Excess capacity is the sign that you need to make an even greater effort toward moderation.

Personally, I have a relatively low capacity for alcohol, so I had to learn to pace myself. On a few occassions some young friends of mine commented how they were amazed that I could drink all night long and not seem to get excessively drunk. They were disappointed when I told them I was drinking the same two or three beers all night long and that more than anything explained why I never go excessively drunk.

Back to the evils of alcohol, it is not alcohol that is evil, it is the RESULTS of alcohol abuse that is evil. It is the result of unrestrained and unreasonable alcohol use that will cause the problems in you life. If you are aware of these potential problems far in advance of actually drinking, you have a much better chance of recognising when and if you have problems with alcohol. For example, it you have a high capacity and find that you are unable to restrain yourself to moderate drinking, then that is a real good sign that you should probably quit all together.

Foreknowledge and awareness are your greatest resources in preventing alcohol problems in life. Characterizng alcohol as universally evil will not work because all the evidence that surrounds your kids in daily life contradicts this. Certainly, do encourage them to avoid alcohol, but also teach them to recognise the early danger sign of problems with alcohol so they can cut it off before any damage is done. And if they do choose to drink, teach them that moderation is the key, and more importantly that chasing death by alcohol will most certainly lead to losing sooner or later.

Well, that certianly was a lot of talking, let's hope I actually manage to say something.

Steve/BlueWizard

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The Pixiest
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Where I'm from we had "Dry" Counties. that meant no alcohol sold at all in the county. And I believe it was even illegal to posess.

My county was not dry but the surrounding counties were. Benton, McDonald (Mo.), Sebastian and Madison (a.k.a. Booger) were all dry. They would have to drive to my county to buy their booze. Liquer stores would sit right at the county line with names like "Last Chance Liquer"

People would drive to the DRIVE THRU WINDOW and then return to their Dry County with their illicit booty.

Pix

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Storm Saxon:
Actually, I think they drank liquor, too.

They did indeed,

Nato: I doubt it.

Alcohol in colonial America was consumed on a far greater scale then it is even now. Children grew up drinking it. At the time alcohol was typically safer to consume then water.

Though it should be noted that puritans considered doing anything in excess disgusting.

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Amanecer
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quote:
Where I'm from we had "Dry" Counties. that meant no alcohol sold at all in the county. And I believe it was even illegal to posess.
I'm not so sure about the illegal to posess it part. There are several dry counties around here, but that just means you can't buy it. This was a big issue in my hometown the past election because they wanted to become "damp" (or have beer and wine only). I kept hearing some study cited saying that drunk driving accidents, DWIs, etc. were lower in towns that had alcohol versus those that didn't. The reason being that if you didn't have alcohol in your town, you'd have to go somewhere else to drink and would then drive home less than sober.

As for culture, I grew up in a house that demonized alocohol. In my childhood mind, drinking alochol was on the same level as snorting coke. It was really weird too because all of my extended family drinks. So we'd go visit relatives and they'd drink and my parents wouldn't say anything. It used to confuse me greatly.

Nowdays I drink on occasion. I don't really understand the whole concept of "tipsy". In my mind there's "a little drunk", "drunk", and "passed out drunk." When I drink, I don't see the point unless I get at least a little drunk. What differentiates "tipsy" in people's minds?

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Evie3217
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quote:
alcohol is the world's best spectator sport.
I completely agree. It's hilarious to watch people get drunk.

That said, I'm 20, and I do like drinking, but I always do so in moderation. Although I've most certainly been drunk, I've never been so drunk that I couldn't control myself. I've also never been drunk when there was a serious chance that I could get hurt (taken advantage of, etc). But I like drinking. It's fun. I like not having to worry about anything and just being able to have fun and laugh uncontrollable. It's a good time.

My parents were never against drinking. In fact, they encouraged me to have a few beers at dinner and at family parties. Although I never took them up on this during high school, when I've been going back for breaks, I've had a couple of beers with the family, and plan on drinking at the neighborhood Christmas party. In fact, I think my parents were happy when I really started drinking. I always thought myself that it was such a horrible habit, but now I see it differently. Plus, I've been having sips of my parents' beer for years. When I was little I used to extract the last few sips of everyone's beer at dinner parties. But my parents were always okay with drinking.

I think that drinking can lead to dangerous things, like BlueWizard said. But I don't think that drinking in itself is evil. There will always be people who will abuse it, but you can't help it. Education in moderation is the way to go. You can't just outright ban something, because that will make it all the more attractive to those curious and defiant teenagers and college students. That's America's problem at the moment. There is no moderation, no education on how to control and take care of yourself. The high drinking age just makes alcohol more appealing to kids because it makes it dangerous and interesting. And, let's face it, alcohol is incredibly easy to get one's hands on.

On a completely different note, my favorite drinks are beer (mostly ales and lagers) and screwdrivers (vodka and orange juice) although any mixed drink is usually a good time. My new discovery is vodka with pineapple juice. Mmmmmm....

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Primal Curve
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quote:
Originally posted by BlueWizard:
Wisconsin, on the other hand, has always been a very liberal state. An for many many years the legal drinking age for beer was 18. It was very common for kids from border towns to cross into Wisconsin to do their drinking. There is even a stretch of road between Minneapolis and the Wisconsin border the the Minnesota Highway Patrol has named 'Death Alley'. Though that is more media hype than reality.

<strikes up the band>
On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Plunge right through that line!
Run the ball clear down the field,
A touchdown sure this time.
On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Fight on for her fame
Fight! Fellows! - fight, fight, fight!
We'll win this game.

On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Stand up, Badgers, sing!
"Forward" is our driving spirit,
Loyal voices ring.
On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Raise her glowing flame
Stand, Fellows, let us now
Salute her name!

I really do enjoy living in this really great and amazingly fantastic; incredibly awesome, even; state. I mean is there anything better? Seriously n'stuff.

Infamous

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Storm Saxon
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quote:

Our culture developed out of the wild wild anything goes west.

quote:

Alcohol in colonial America was consumed on a far greater scale then it is even now. Children grew up drinking it. At the time alcohol was typically safer to consume then water.

I think the country is, in many ways, at its most fastidious and ascetic. Witness the recent trans fat stupidity in New York.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Storm Saxon:
quote:

Our culture developed out of the wild wild anything goes west.

quote:

Alcohol in colonial America was consumed on a far greater scale then it is even now. Children grew up drinking it. At the time alcohol was typically safer to consume then water.

I think the country is, in many ways, at its most fastidious and ascetic. Witness the recent trans fat stupidity in New York.

I actually snorted when I saw Hot Pockets advertised as having 0g of, "Transfat."

"OH BOY! LETS EAT 4 A DAY!"

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Altáriël of Dorthonion
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I hate most alcohol. Currently the only drink I like is red wine: the redder the wine, the more I like it.
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The Pixiest
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What I hate worse than the transfat thing is the Psuedoephedrine thing.

I don't care how many druggies blow themselves up and die, Sudafed is the only thing that helps when I have a migraine!

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Evie3217
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Like I said, there will always be people who are going to abuse every substance they get their hands on. Are we going to ban spray paint next? Or what about those scented markers that we all used to sniff when we were little? Sometimes the stupidity of some people in this country scares me.
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BaoQingTian
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quote:

I think it is a mistake for parent to try to convince their kids that alcohol is totally evil. That is an unrealistic approach and one that is counter by every other source of information they have.

I think it is far better to teach your kids the POTENTIALLY distructive aspects of alcohol abuse. To teach them the warning sign that they are likely to have problems with alcohol.

Steve,

You and others have claimed that it's a mistake or unreasonable to teach your kids not to drink alcohol. However, it is part of my religious beliefs that drinking alcohol is a sin for members of my religion.

I'm sure you have religious morals that you will teach your kids, regardless of how silly or ineffective they may seem to others. I believe Belle has mentioned that she teaches her daughter that premarital sex is wrong. Imagine that someone else says that it's unreasonable to do so, that she merely has to make sure her daughter knows how to use birth control and where to get an abortion.

I don't have any problem with other people drinking responsibly (or irresponsibly either as long as it doesn't harm anyone else). I do get a bit irritated when people call my religious beliefs unreasonable, unrealistic, and a mistake.

Evie,

Who's talking about banning alcohol?

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Shanna
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I had my first drink when I was 18 and a freshman in college. During my second attempt at drinking, I had to be carried home.

Alcohol had no place in my high school years. I was in a choir which attracts a large percentage of Christians. Our "parties" usually revolved around movies and boardgames.

The month before I started college though, my family moved to Louisiana. It was like a whole other world. Back in Texas, where I grew up, you'd hear about maybe one high school drunk driving death a year...and that was for the whole school district which consisted of four 5A-sized high schools. In Louisiana though, I remember my mom calling me to tell me about the WEEKLY drunk driving deaths. She was terrified to drive anywhere after dark and was always nervous when I drove home for the holidays. It took her even longer to let me make trips to nearby New Orleans because she feared the drunk drivers crossing the bridge. To this day I get more experience drivers (I've only had my license for two years) to drive me during Mardi Gras.

Maybe Texas was more conservative. I didn't live in a dry county but the mindset was there. Louisiana was like another world! I still remember the first time I saw a Drive-Through Daiquiri shop. I was so stunned that I had to ask my mom what it was because I couldn't believe it. In my college town, I'm NEVER carded even though I look younger than I am. I remember sitting at the local bar watching a bunch of drunken 16 year-olds getting thrown out for having a fight. The cops even stood by as they hopped in their trucks and drove off. It was insane.

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BlueWizard
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BaoQingTian,

Here is the problem, it is hard to convince kids that the reason they shouldn't do something is because 'God said so'. True as it may be, it rarely is a convincing argument.

But there is a very real sound and convincing argument against drinking, and having a fair and open presentation of that knowledge will go farther toward convincing them, than simply repeating 'it evil', 'it's evil' over and over again.

Knowledge is power in the modern world, and certainly the fact that your religion objects to drinking is a powerful piece of very valid knowledge. But you have to prepare your kids for the real world, and you have to consider the possibility that they might experiment; sinful or not. If they do experiment, a whole lot of fair and reasonable knowledge will go more toward preparing them to step into that activity, and will make them more able to step away when they realize the hazards.

As long as you brought up sex, this is another area when I believe American society has generally failed. There are a very valid and sound non-religious reasons for kids to not have sex, and if those reasons are presented to them in a framework of general sexual knowledge, then that is re-enforced at home by religious reasons to abstain, it mades a very sound real world working foundation that kids can draw on.

The problem is society can't see the middle ground; sex ed seems to be all or nothing, and both are an unreasonable and unworkable approach. Again knowledge, complete, fair, honest, unbiased knowledge will do more to keep kid away from sex and prepare them better for life than any 'abstinance' program.

So, I was not in any way discounting or discrediting your religion. I was merely saying that if you want to have a real positive affect that prepares your kids for life in the real world, you are going to need more than 'God said so' or 'it's evil'. I'm not saying 'God said so' is not a valuable aspect, I'm saying you need more.

Knowledge is power.

Steve/BlueWizard

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MightyCow
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I believe, that in America, an important part of becoming an adult is learning to sift through all the BS and scare tactics that have been used to keep you in line as a child, and learn to think responsibly about adult issues, such as drinking and sex.

Teaching abstinence from any "dangerous" activity is much easier than delving into weighty moral issues, or getting into the hows and whys of things, particularly with teenagers.

American values amuse me. We live in a society where in a video game where killing people is the goal, a sex scene is what causes the biggest outrage.

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quidscribis
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quote:
Originally posted by BlueWizard:
I was not in any way discounting or discrediting your religion.

Even when you say things like this?
quote:
Originally posted by BlueWizard:
Reasonable people also know that a safe sane and logical approach to alcohol is to embrace the middle ground; moderation in all things.

As soon as you begin an argument with "Reasonable people know..." there's no point in continuing the discussion. You've already labelled everyone who disagrees with you as unreasonable. You've already discounted all opinions and beliefs that fall outside your chosen criteria.
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The Pixiest
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quid: I think he was just overlooking religious objections rather than actively arguing against them. I definately got the impression he was only addressing secular arguments.
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BaoQingTian
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Steve,

I have not detailed how I would teach my kids that alcohol is wrong, I merely said that I would be teaching them that it is wrong, as opposed to it being morally ok. I was merely responding to the suggestion that teaching anything but alcohol use being ok is unreasonable. After I attempted to clarify, you persist in implying that I said I'd be:
"simply repeating 'it evil', 'it's evil' over and over again." That is not the case, and I resent the implication that I would merely answer all of their inquiries on the subject with "Alcohol is teh DEVIL!"

Let me make this absolutely clear. I will teach my kids that Heavenly Father has said that drinking alcohol is wrong. I will also teach them not to look down on others who do so, because other people's differing beliefs result in other moral standards. Furthermore, I will teach them the potential dangers of alcohol use and abuse, explain the continuum of alcohol use, and let them know what is socially and legally acceptable in this country. When they grow up, they'll have to make their own decision on the matter.

It looks like you're trying to apply what you see as a general standard in this country to my specific responses in this thread. I simply want to make you aware that you are mistaken in doing so.

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Belle
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Where I used the word unreasonable I used it to refer to the mindset that alcohol is evil. Alcohol is a substance, it can't be good or evil. What you do with it or while under the influence of it may well be good or evil, though.

I do not think drinking a moderate amount of alcohol is a sin. I can't wrap my head around that concept when Christ, the ultimate example I'm supposed to aspire to, not only drank wine but one of his miracles was creating it.

If you want to teach your children drinking is always wrong, then by all means do so. I don't find that reasonable for me and my family. It may well be reasonable for you under you belief systems, so have at it.

I wholeheartedly agree with Steve about knowledge being power. I talk to my kids about alcohol, particularly the teenager and why abusing it is a bad idea and what the consequences for abusing it could be. Same way I talk to her about premarital sex. "God says it's wrong" is never the only reason given for why not to do something.

I don't think it's right or healthy for me to teach her that alcohol and sex are bad things - both can, under the right circumstances, be pleasant ways to while away an evening. [Razz] I just want her to know that the best time to spend evenings drinking alcohol in moderation are when she's over 21 and not going to driving, and the best way to enjoy an evening of sex is with her husband. [Big Grin]

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BlueWizard
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quote:
quote:Originally posted by quidscribis:
quote:

quote:Originally posted by BlueWizard:
I was not in any way discounting or discrediting
your religion.

Even when you say things like this?

Ummm....I'm confused? Of course, especially when I say 'things' like this. Several times I commented that religious objections to drinking was a very valid and worthwhile part of a larger pool of information.

My objection is to relying exclusively on "it's evil" as justification. There is a reason it is evil; it destroys lives, it destroys families, it harms people, it brings social, physical, and spiritual pain and misery, or at least it can under certain circumstances. But the 'what' without the 'why' essential discredits the argument in the eyes of young people.

More importantly kids have really great B.S. detectors once they reach their teen years. It is hard to convince them "it's evil" when they see apparently good people in their community using alcohol and living apparently normal productive lives.

There are a VERY sound reasons why alcohol should be avoided. Religious reasons are a large aspect of that to a religious person, but there are also very real-world practical reason, and you would do well to present these practical reasons in a fair and balanced way because that knowledge will equip your kids to deal with real-life problems with real-life knowledge. Again, a part of which is religious objections.


quote:

quote:
Originally posted by BlueWizard:
Reasonable people also know that a safe sane and logical approach to alcohol is to embrace the middle ground; moderation in all things.

As soon as you begin an argument with "Reasonable people know..." there's no point in continuing the discussion. You've already labelled everyone who disagrees with you as unreasonable. You've already discounted all opinions and beliefs that fall outside your chosen criteria.
Well, believe it or not, there are 'reasonable' and 'unreasonable' people in this world and depending on the issue, each and everyone of us can and probably do fall into both catagories.

Unreasonable people believe it is cool to try to drink yourself to the edge of death a couple of times a week. Reasonable people know that it is far better to live than to repeatedly tempt death, so they proceed moderately through life.

Moderation does not necessarily mean engaging in immoral vices to a smaller degree, it means proceeding through life that is balanced with knowledge and common sense. To you, your knowledge and common sense may tell you to steer clear of alcohol altogether, and that's great. Another person may take the same information and judge that a controlled and measure amount of drinking is OK. But, there is simply no way that a person who goes out to drink 21 shots in 21 minutes is engaging in any form of moderation or reasonableness in his slim and precarious attempt to tempt death and win.

I'm not sure, but you seem to be picking at a word while ignoring the greater message in my post.

Regardless of whether you 'got it', other people seem to have understood what I said in context.

Just one man's opinion.

Steve/BlueWizard

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BlueWizard
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BaoQingTian,

Thank you for that clarification, but we obviously have a slight misunderstanding. In my original post, I was not attacking you personally, but addressing the concept that "it's evil" with nothing else was a wise approach to alcohol education. Again, my comments were addressed at the subject in general, and to all people who MIGHT take this approach; NOT at you personally. That thought never occurred to me.

You commented (I believe) that you would teach your kids that alcohol is evil, I took that as the stimulus to address a broader and very real issue, at least in my mind.

So, again all my comments in my original post and in my reply were toward the broader issue. I've read your posts in many threads in the past and have always found them (and you) to be intelligent and well thought out, and would never under any circumstances level a personal attack.

Again, I was attacking (if you can all it that) a broader and more general concept.

If any offense was felt, then you certainly have my apologies. But I still stand by what I said IN GENERAL.

Regards,
Steve/BlueWizard

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Juxtapose
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I visited Italy with my family this summer and developed a taste for wine that I hadn't had previously. On one occasion I even saw a kid who looked to be about twelve or thirteen buying a bottle of wine. My sister, who was studying abroad there, caught a bit of the conversation between him and the shopkeeper, and said he was buying it for his parents. There are probably some places in the US where this could happen, but I've never seen it before. I was surprised and a little amused at how different the attitudes are.

While we were there, my sister and I (I'm 23, she's 21) took the opportunity to get our younger brother sloshed once or twice. He turned 15 this year and is a junior. I don't think he'd been exposed to alcohol before that, though both my sister and I had at that age. We both decided that it would be a good idea if his first few experiences with alcohol were in a controlled setting, to give him an idea of what the effects were like.

I have friends whose parents would buy alcohol for their kids and their friends, on the condition that they consumed it at home, and nobody got their car keys back until the next morning. They reasoned that the kids would be drinking anyway, if that's what they wanted to do, and decided to provide a safe, moderately controlled environment. It's something that makes a lot of sense to me.

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Itsame
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I've read that the human mind isn't mature enough to properly deal with alcohol consumption until age 24.
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