July 27, 2009
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Dr. Morris Chafetz was a member of President Reagan’s commission in the 1980s that recommended raising the drinking age to 21; he now says it was “the single most regrettable decision” of his career. My first thought on such a comment is that if this is most regrettable decision of his life he can remember, then most likely the man has just gone senile. But it is this second comment that really raised my sanity-doubting eyebrow.
“Legal Age 21 has not worked,” Chafetz said in the piece. “To be sure, drunk driving fatalities are lower now than they were in 1982. But they are lower in all age groups… (snip) the law instead has resulted in “collateral, off-road damage” such as binge drinking that occurs in underage youth and crimes like date rape, assaults and property damage.~ LA Times
I guess Dr. Chafetz must believe that if they were just allowed to drink legally, the young inebriated idiots of the world would become gentle law abiding lambs. I mean everyone knows that date rape, assaults, and property crime just didn’t exist in prior to the National Minimum Age Drinking Act of 1984- back in the good old days, when alcohol made kids smart.
10 seconds left, must hurry… I oppose lowering the minimum drinking age limits because it is a known fact the earlier one starts drinking the more likely they are to suffer substance abuse issues. Game, set, match for me. Combine this with the fact that by lowering the drinking age we just put 16 and 17 year olds as next up in the queue- no doubt idolizing the high school seniors turning up a cold beer . Even more emotionally and physically immature, they will be inheriting the angst and the ills of those almost old enough to drink.
July 14, 2009
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Thank you author and speaker Lisa Frederiksen of Breaking the Cycles for this regular series sharing her decades long experience of dealing with family alcoholism and alcohol abuse. Click here to see the rest of the series.
One of the areas covered in the U.S. Surgeon General’s 2007 Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking is a presentation of data from the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Drugs, 2003, on binge drinking by European students ages 15-16. As you likely have read, there is an effort by American university and college presidents, called the Amethyst Initiative, that urges a debate on lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18. The belief is that a lower drinking age will remove the temptation to binge drink because alcohol consumption would be legal for students at age 18 (i.e., no need to drink as much as possible when an occasion arises because access will be legal and readily available).
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