COLUMN: You drink, you lose
Does that sound familiar? Those timeless teachings from middle school and high school health classes echo in my ears even now, years later.
We were all supposed to learn it, but as anyone with functioning senses can pick up on a good weekend night, it doesn’t seem like very many people have learned much of anything.
Anyone who’s a regular at the “party scene” can go out and see it every weekend: people sucking down the booze, puking, crying, passing out and destroying their livers.
This is the result of a widespread failure of the current education system, of course, but not in the way most people would think.
I had a friend take a trip to Europe not too long ago. When he returned, I was amazed when he told me all about how many of the problems with alcohol we Americans face are of little concern to our friends across the Atlantic.
It seems the term “party” in Europe has a different meaning. In America, it means a bunch of people are getting together to drink until they puke or pass out. Over there, it means a bunch of friends are getting together to have a few drinks and hang out.
Kids in Europe are taught to hold their liquor at the table from an early age. They drink with their parents at the dinner table and learn moderation and respect for booze.
Any parent who lets their little kid drink in this country is liable to be thrown in jail, shunned by the community and have their family ripped apart by child protective services. And that’s where it’s most evident the antiquated, backwoods, garbage conservative ideals embraced by the general public are causing a serious problem.
You’re an idiot if you believe “Zero Tolerance” for minors is an effective policy. A Central Michigan Life article titled “Welcome Weekend festivities met with police enforcement” reported 258 MIPs and open intoxication citations issued during Welcome Weekend. These are citations that cost money for kids already in debt and put smudges on sometimes otherwise-clean police records. All for wanting to have a good time but not knowing how.
How’s that for deterrence?
A love for booze is as natural as a love for sex. Kids who grow up seeing their parents drink and love it are taught to never touch the stuff until well after they’ve become legal adults.
It’s no wonder zero tolerance falls flat on its face.
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