In this entry, Monica (a Morgan senior) shares some myths and facts about alcohol use in the US.
This past summer I spent five days of my vacation in Florida! Learning… at an underage drinking prevention conference. “By choice?” you may ask, yes. This prelude to schoolwork, however, was captivating in that we were not learning about colonial or Roman society, rather we were discussing modern society. Among hundreds of other high school teens from across America, I absorbed the reality that our country is facing, and learned of the ignorance that we will have to fight.
My interest in one particular discussion surprised me, in which myths regarding underage drinking were being disproved. The common argument was brought up that youth in Europe drink more responsibly than American youth do. I had heard from a seemingly reputable source that yes, people who learn to drink responsibly at home tend to be in better shape than teens who are banned from the activity altogether. I had believed this information with no questions asked; taken it with no grain of salt. I was in awe and felt almost betrayed as the speaker unfolded his counter argument supported by statistics, stories, and studies.
The myth is an easy one to believe; in theory it makes sense that those children who drink alcohol at home will learn to consume responsibly, but there is no denying the cold, hard facts. Any alcohol that is consumed by a youth whose brain is not yet matured will be detrimental to brain development, and the earlier a youth begins drinking the more likely that teen is to develop an alcohol dependency. In actuality, England has a significantly higher number of alcoholics than the U.S.A. does.
I became disturbed by the fact that my trusted source honestly believed this myth, and I thought of the number of children he had passed his information along to. The myth is dangerous yet so common among teens in America who use this belief to justify their alcohol consumption as positive behavior. We need to spread the word throughout our community that this argument is false! Together we need to fight the ignorance.