Letters to the Editor

Letter: Harmful effects

November 22, 2013


To the editor:

Teenager Kendra Schwartz recently wrote in the “Double Take” column: “Although I don’t personally condone alcohol or drug use, weekend drinking is common among my peers and rarely has long-term harmful effects.”

I offer kudos to Ms. Schwartz for not condoning unhealthy behaviors in her peer group and for her usually provocative and insightful commentary. However, her assertion that such behavior “rarely has long-term harmful effects” is not supported by epidemiology findings cited in a large number of publications and falls far short of her typical thoughtful excellence.

Regarding the harm due to underage consumption of alcohol, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Alcohol and Public Health fact sheet entitled “Underage Drinking” lists 11 published studies, many from rigorous, peer-reviewed medical publications such as Pediatrics, which provides results and conclusions from mortality reporting and other reliable sources. Among the CDC’s summary of consequences of underage drinking are that youth who drink alcohol are more likely to experience school problems, social problems, legal problems, physical problems, high-risk sexual activity and unintentional injuries from alcohol-related auto collisions and other accidents such as burns, falls, or drowning. This fact sheet (with citations) can be reviewed at http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/underage-drinking.htm.

Underage alcohol use all too frequently has long-term harmful effects, and copious research is readily available to rebut Ms. Schwartz’s contradictory opinion. Nonetheless, I predict a great future for her as an adult based on her already highly developed critical thinking and writing skills. I urge her, her coauthor, and her editors to do better fact checking of assertions in the future.


Richard Heckler 4 years, 2 months ago

Long term impacts can be very different from one individual to another, Simply because we are not the same. Joe and Mary might get away with it yet Dick and Diane were subjected to disastrous results.

Some items not mentioned could be that hangovers are always painful and no fun. Why have a hangover? Not having a hangover is very cool…..you and your body will appreciate being pro-active.

Give it time one drink can be quite relaxing why drink more? Again you and your body will appreciate being pro-active.

When one is having fun wouldn't be more fun if that fun can be recalled rather than wonder what did I do last night?

True some can seem to handle more alcohol than others but so what. Give it time one drink can be quite relaxing why drink more?

High-risk sexual activity can be accomplished without alcohol it's kind of the natural order of things HOWEVER young ladies become the target of mean spirited drugs added to their drinks that stimulate unwise choices often unbeknownst to them. This is happening to women throughout there careers as women. Beware stay very aware as sometimes intoxicated friends become the predators. Not that there is any shortage of predators. If my memory serves me well Maryville, Missouri has become the poster child.

--- http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/she-the-people/wp/2013/10/24/maryville-mo-attacked-in-social-media-response-to-daisy-coleman-rape-case/

--- http://articles.latimes.com/2013/oct/21/nation/la-na-nn-maryville-prosecutor-20131021

--- http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/maryville-rape-case-sparks-courthouse-rally-article-1.1493960

Give it time one drink can be quite relaxing why drink more?

Richard Heckler 4 years, 2 months ago

The letter writer has created an important matter for discussion. Thanks letter writer.

Bob Smith 4 years, 2 months ago

And all the energy links have what to do with this letter?

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