Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

New study emphasizes adult influence on underage drinking

Friday, October 31st, 2014

A recent California study has shown that communities where social host laws are more stringent have demonstrated more responsible underage contingents.

This may not come as a surprise, though it has implications when thought of in the context of role-modeling. Adults who discourage binge drinking in their presence, yet encourage responsible drinking in responsible settings promote positive habits for minors. This behavior may be encouraged by these new social host laws.

Lead researcher Mallie J. Paschall claimed that ‘”Most kids get alcohol from social sources, not commercial ones,” so laws that target the social-sources of alcohol, such as parents or adult caretakers, can help reduce underage drinking.’

To read more, click here

Students initiate alcohol policy at Haverford College

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

In an effort to create a greater sense of safety, unity and consistency, Haverford College, outside Philadelphia, PA, has gone about its alcohol policy from a different angle: each year, the students vote on the school’s alcohol policies in order to make sure they are consistent with community expectations. What’s the result of this? Student loyalty, safety and support.

Indeed, there are administrators on the panel that reviews these policies, but students seem to have a strong influence on the regulatory environment.

As the article notes, “The relationship between students and security at Haverford is a key reason why, according to Pavliv, students feel safe notifying campus safety officers.” Such respected collaboration in a college community may be worth a thought or two.

Read more here

NPR addresses the connection between cheap drinks, risk and binge-drinking

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

Binge drinking has become an assumed part of the college experience– with this in mind, NPR looks into the factors that contribute to such pressures, primarily cheap drinks. This point becomes more of a reality when one considers that after graduation, many graduates tend to upgrade their taste in beer–from those marketed to binge-drinkers to those marketed to beer connoisseurs. Cooperation between a college and the nearby community in regards to pricing and legal consistency has proven to lower the pressures of binge-drinking.

Listen to (or read) NPR’s discussion here

CR president Barrett Seaman featured on The Sound of Ideas

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Fully a decade after Choose Responsibility founder John McCardell argued in a New York Times oped piece that the 21-year-old drinking age was counterproductive, another small college president, Tom Chema of Ohio’s Hiram College, made the same point on WCPM Radio, arguing that the age prohibition does nothing to stop binge drinking and indeed contributes to it. The law, he said, “is just not working.”

CR president Barrett Seaman, participating in the same radio debate, asked whether or not MLDA-21 was the best way to curb drunk driving deaths, which was its original intent. Buried in some of the research that purportedly supported the higher drinking age law is data that suggests that stiffer enforcement of existing drunk driving laws for all age groups is far more effective and ought to be the focus of the law, rather than an age-specific ban on drinking.

Most of those who called into the show supported a lower age limit.

Listen to (or watch) the discussion here

No alcohol, at all

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Milwaukee Area Technical College’s vice-president of student services, Dr. Trevor Kubatzke, has said he will sign off on a policy to eliminate alcohol at all events run by student organizations. Though students have spoken out against the “No Alcohol” policy, Kubatze argues that alcohol does not contribute to student events and hence should be eliminated:

When we’re planning events that are educational in venue, or a learning experience, alcohol doesn’t bring anything to the table. We shouldn’t be planning events where the focus is alcohol so, where we are today, there really isn’t a need to have alcohol at our student events.

Kubatze’s argument seems to be based on one school of thought about alcohol. However, he does not comment on other–or better–avenues to imbue his students with a sense of responsibility. Though college, we would argue, is about acquiring knowledge, it is also about acquiring life skills.

CR President Barrett Seaman on HuffPost Live TODAY!

Monday, January 14th, 2013

CR President Barrett Seaman will participate in a conversation on HuffPost live TODAY at 12.30pm ET to discuss Colorado State Senator Greg Brophy’s proposed bill to legalize consumption for people 18-20 in the presence of their parents. According to the Huffington Post, the bill comes from the place of a concerned parent who sees the difficulty in imbuing his child with responsibility if he cannot teach her himself. Hence, he proposed the bill after taking his 20 year old daughter to dinner and not being able to share a glass of wine with her. And on Friday, he wrote on his Facebook page,

 Why is it appropriate for the State to deny parents the ability to show their adult kids how to responsibly consume adult beverages in a public setting? Those same kids are often turned completely loose to attend college hundreds of miles from home and completely unsupervised. Those same kids will be able to consume adult beverages completely unfettered on their 21st birthday. (ignoring the fact that they will have nearly unfettered access between the time they leave your home and that 21st birthday) Why on earth would you want to deny responsible parents the chance to expose their own kids to the effects of this product while with their parents?

Senator Brophy has taken a bold step towards empowering parents to teach their children to drink alcohol responsibly BEFORE they are “taught” to drink by their peers. Watch Barrett Seaman respond on HuffPost Live today by clicking here.


Sending our thoughts

Monday, December 17th, 2012

On behalf of Choose Responsibility, I send my thoughts to the families and communities of the victims of Friday’s tragedy in Newtown, CT. I have cried for you, and hugged my loved ones tighter in your honor.



Military Drinking, part 2

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

A few months ago, I wrote about binge drinking in the military. I often comment about binge drinking as a college, but I do not frequently enough note that binge drinking pervades more than college campuses. The problem does not evaporate with a diploma, nor does it come upon matriculation as the military has recently become more aware. The Institute of Medicine released a report in September 2012 that noted that the Department of Defense should take appropriate measures to modernize its approach to alcohol abuse in the military. Charles P. O’Brian, chair of the panel that authored the report, noted that at the report’s writing, the Army only had one specialist to trained to treat addiction despite that, the report noted, “drunken soldiers” have been a problem since the Revolutionary War.

Since the report’s release, individual branches of the service have begun making efforts to modernize their approach. According to NBC, “The Marines, starting next year, will give random breathalyzer tests to Corps members; the Air Force and Army curbed some overnight liquor sales for U.S. military personnel in Germany; and American service members in Japan were barredfrom leaving their residences after consuming more than one adult beverage.” According to the report, 47% of active duty service members binge drank in 2008.

Is binge drinking genetic?

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Scientists have published findings in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal which point to a genetic variation that can lead to an increase in binge drinking in teens. The gene known as RASGRF-2 plays a crucial role in making people more likely to be heavy drinkers. People drinking alcohol experience activation of the brain’s dopamine system, giving them feelings of pleasure and reward.  The research suggests that people with a genetic variation on the RASGRF-2 gene release more dopamine with anticipation of a reward, such as alcohol.

Brain scans of 663 14-year old boys found that those with variations in the RASGRAF-2 gene have more activity in an area of the brain closely linked to the release of dopamine. In order to confirm the findings, the same teens were analyzed at age 16 and those with the gene variation drank more often than those without it. This insight into teens has the potential for greater risk analysis and mitigation of alcohol abuse. However, if parents and educators are aware of a teenager’s susceptibility but not legally able to facilitate a conversation surrounding its risks, they are at a loss for helping him or her overcome the genetic predisposition.

Happy Election Day!

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Dear Readers,

If you’re anything like us, you’re holed up watching TV commentators offer their opinions on the fate of our great nation. This has been an election of Twitter hashtags and memes, online commentary and 24 hour news. Constant campaigning has taken its toll on all us, but the internet has given us the ability–even the responsibility–to respond and to share our thoughts. More than ever in the history of our country, social media has shown us the power of an engaged citizenry. Americans have taken an active stance on everything from business to binders, healthcare to homeland security. In this age and ability of hyper-political-activism, we’d like to thank you for spending some of your activism on us.

Our cause is noble. Our cause is saving the lives of young people, of engaging a future generation of responsible citizens. Stick with us. We’re working towards a country parents can teach their young men and women about the realities of alcohol, so that these young men and women can go out into the world and make their own mark on it.

Join us, won’t you?