Archive for the 'Adult supervision' Category

Washington bill will allow tasting in classes for teens

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Washington senators are advancing a proposal that would allow older teenagers to taste alcohol in culinary, beer technology, or similar community college classes. If passed, the bill will enable 18-20 year olds to better understand their course work by responsibly (and under supervision) tasting (though they are not supposed to consume) alcohol.

Though the bill’s intent is to enhance the educational experience of these students and better prepare them for their careers, it has the potential to indirectly promote responsibility by removing the mystique surrounding alcohol for under age drinkers.

A sobering beginning

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Happy New Year on behalf of the entire Choose Responsibility team. I hope your holidays were as meaningful and restful as mine. A new year means a clean slate for many things–workout regimens, healthier eating–but unfortunately the facts surrounding America’s drinking culture are not wiped clean.

A recent Forbes article by David Skorton (Cornell University President) and Glenn Altschuler (Cornell University Dean) paints a vivid picture of high-risk college drinking and comments on the consequences of students teaching each other to drink. In questioning whether students arrive at college as heavy drinkers or become heavy drinkers once they matriculate, the authors concede,

…college life may cause individual students to dial up the amount and frequency with which they drink. “A Call to Action: Changing the culture of drinking at U.S. colleges,” a report by the NIAAA-supported Task Force on College Drinking, presents evidence of higher alcohol use among undergraduates than peers who do not attend college and attributes it to a perception of alcohol as central to college life. Arriving on campus anxious to establish their place in a new setting, first-year students learn from upperclass men and women “that alcohol is a necessary ingredient for social success. These beliefs and the expectations they engender exert a powerful influence over students’ behavior toward alcohol.

Unwiling to conclude without a call to action, Skorten and Altschuler concede ask parents to have a candid conversation with their children about their drinking, their children’s drinking, and their children’s peers. Many parents are unaware of the way college drinking has changed since their own undergraduate years, and they might be surprised by what their students have to say.



Teen drinking and driving declines

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

While a shocking 11.4% of the alcohol consumed in the United States is consumed by underage drinkers, a recent CDC report claims that 10% of high school drinkers report drinking and driving. Any drinking and driving is too much drinking and driving, but teen drinking and driving has fallen by more than half since 1991. Although significantly cutting drinking and driving is a laudable accomplishment, it does not indicate that these high drinkers are making more responsible choices with alcohol.

Of those teens that reported drinking and driving, a startling 85% of them said they binge drank before driving. It appears as though drinking and driving has developed a negative stigma since 1991, which makes roads safer. However, discouraging drinking and driving does not appear to be halting dangerous consumption. This level of over consumption puts teenage lives in a different type of danger. Without the opportunity to learn to make responsible choices, one can only wonder if drinking to such dangerous levels will increase?


Click here for more on the CDC’s report. 

Alcohol enemas latest fad at college parties?

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

A nearly-fatal alcohol enema incident last week at a fraternity at the University of Tennessee has led to greater curiosity regarding college students’ alcohol consumption habits. While it is no secret that more than 1,800 students die annually due to binge drinking, this incident forces officials to consider other ways students might be chasing a buzz. Irresponsible behaviors such as ingesting alcohol through the rectum or combining alcohol with prescription drugs increase the effects of alcohol and can pose even greater risks than binge drinking. The unfortunate accident at the University of Tennessee indicates the heinous consequences of irresponsible consumption, and indicates that students must be taught to drink responsibly from someone other than their peers.

Read more information here.

More common than parents think

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Jackson, Tennessee’s Jackson Sun recently published an extensive story on underage drinking in West Tennessee. According to the article, police have been frequently “busting” clandestine backyard parties where parents–or even residents–are not present. Law enforcement officials who commented for the story argue that underage drinking is even more common than parents realize.

Read the full story here.


Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

I recently had a conversation with the father of a college age female. Through the course of our conversation, which turned to college drinking, he noted that he had attempted to “teach” his daughter to drink before she matriculated as a college freshman. While we’re not condoning a behavior that’s illegal in many states (serving to minors), he raised a relevant point about sending young men and women to college. Although he offered his daughter mild alcohol beverages, she seemed disinterested in consuming alcohol. However, he glibly noted that she probably “learned to drink” from her friends when she arrived at college.

College is, for me, a thing of the not too distant past, and I recall vividly the “peer” education that occurred during that first semester. With high school comfortably behind them, the playing field was, in a strange way, leveled for all students–high school drinkers and non-drinkers were suddenly socializing in the same space. But the social setting looked nothing like that which had been left at home. There was no risk of someone’s parents busting a party, a beer was never too far out of reach, and drinking practices like “tequila circles” (where a handle is passed around and everyone takes a pull) pervaded the campuses my friends and I inhabited.

Whether or not students drank in high school was really irrelevant as college really was a whole different animal. And problems began to present themselves when students inexperienced with most aspects of living away from home began “teaching” their friends how to drink. It was an initiation of sorts, but an initiation by an equally inexperienced initiator. It seems strange, when I consider it, that a parent might spend more time teaching their son or daughter how to do laundry than they do how to drink. Unfortunately, parents are disenfranchised from showing their children how to experience alcohol safely and responsibly. It is not impossible to ruin a load of laundry, but it’s (obviously) incomparable to the dangers that can follow irresponsible alcohol consumption.

[CR]’s proposal supports a drinking license, and it supports parents. Take a moment to read the proposal (found here) and let us know what you think.


Friday, June 29th, 2012

I was making a beef carbonade for supper, the recipe called for red wine as a flavor ingredient. When my son saw me measure and pour the wine into the stew pot, he began crying and hysterically yelling that he would not eat the stew because I had put alcohol in the cooking pot and I was going to kill our family. He said his teacher had told him all alcohol was poison. I was outraged then…and still am!


Testimonial: Contrasts

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

“…Contrast that to today. Drinking is at fraternities and off-campus. No university officials are around to help out. Much more drinking involves driving. Much more drinking is done hastily before going to campus events. Instead of learning to drink responsibly, kids today learn to drink quickly, secretly, and away from adult supervision…”