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Do you think underage drinking is a significant problem in Lawrence?

Asked at Dillons, 3000 W. Sixth St. on April 11, 2012

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Photo of Melanie Weilert

“Yes, especially because teenagers don’t understand the implications of what it could mean for them.”

Photo of Marilyn Howard

“Yes. I’ve known too many underage kids who drank. I think we’ve got to make parents more aware that it’s a bigger social problem, that it affects their development.”

Photo of Grace Porter

“It probably is but no one really talks about it.”

Photo of Kevin Carr

“It’s a problem, but I’m not sure it’s a significant problem. People are educating people and what more can you do? It either sticks or it doesn’t.”

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Comments

prospector 3 years, 3 months ago

The real problem is the drinking age. Change it to 18, no problem.

Mary Darst 3 years, 3 months ago

A problem EVERYWHERE. Been a problem for ever. What ya do???? What ya say that makes a difference to them? I think people are just more aware of the problem because it is in the media more.

rockchalker52 3 years, 3 months ago

autie, next time you're traveling down south Iowa Street, swing into Target & grab some beezos. You can't get any suds through the checkout without forkin' over your ID. Doesn't even matter if you're as old as Roe.

RoeDapple 3 years, 3 months ago

After retiring for the fourth time I thought I was done. Not so. I will don a cape, grab a bag of cheetos and become a hero on the "T" . . .

(Caution - language gets rough) http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/snackman-to-the-rescue-during-new-york-subway-fight/story-e6frf7lf-1226323858089

I mean, I'm a natural for this!

somedude20 3 years, 3 months ago

If you are old enough to go to war, you are old enough to drink. I have seen many many older people handle their liquor as bad if not worse than young kids. A dumb drunk is a dumb drunk. The real problem is all of the prescription drugs that get thrown to kids when they rae not needed

LadyJ 3 years, 3 months ago

Hey LJW, what's with the huge print in the obituaries in the paper edition. I certainly hope it was a one time thing.

jhawks1234 3 years, 3 months ago

I used to do that when I was underage. Hand over your ID that wasn't 21 and there would always be someone who would sell to you because they don't even look at the date.

asixbury 3 years, 3 months ago

Alcohol abuse is not as prevalent in the European countries, where a person can drink legally at age 18, sometime as low as age 16. And a lot of these countries don't have regulations on what children consume at home. We ban alcohol and therefore make it a problem. It would not be rebellious to drink so much if our country didn't have such a hang-up on drinking.

booyalab 3 years, 3 months ago

I hear this a lot, but it's just not true. The US rate of drinking is much lower than Europe, particularly the UK.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1357892/U-S-drinks-lowest-alcohol-developed-world-figures-reveal.html

asixbury 3 years, 3 months ago

I said abuse. Of course they drink more; their countries do not prohibit it to the extent that America does. Abuse and use are two different things.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

I've also heard that the culture there frowns on getting sloppy stupid drunk.

Without that, simply removing the drinking age wouldn't make people less prone to that here, I imagine.

asixbury 3 years, 3 months ago

You are probably right. It seems to be "cool" here to get drunk.

booyalab 3 years, 3 months ago

So you think that even though Americans drink less, they abuse alcohol more. Unless your definition of alcohol abuse is abstaining, I have no clue where you're coming from. What I do know is that you didn't even look at the link, since it pointed out that the rate of alcohol related deaths is higher in Europe than the US.

asixbury 3 years, 3 months ago

People in Europe are allowed to drink at a much younger age than in America. Because of the prohibition, teenagers in America drink to rebel and "have a good time." Drinking is not seen in the same light in Europe because of their cultural differences. There is not such a widespread abuse of alcohol by young adults in Europe, since it is not banned. Banning young people from drinking will not solve any problems--that is the basis of my statement.

Mike Hatch 3 years, 3 months ago

It's not just because we're a college town. It happens everywhere, sometimes with the parents supplying it. I get the weekly paper from a small western KS town where I used to have family and read about the 'field parties' that sometimes get broken up. Underage kids out in a field with beer is pretty much what a field party is.

pace 3 years, 3 months ago

I lot of people don't drink, not just ex drunks. It is a good choice.

bornon7 3 years, 3 months ago

I lived in North Kansas City my teen years. We would drive across the state line to Kansas and drink beer at Shakey's Pizza. Anyone remember that place?!

msturner 3 years, 3 months ago

Ate at Shakey's in Amarillo all the time way way back when ... of course drinking was more difficult since I was in elementary school then.

purplesage 3 years, 3 months ago

Adults who supply alcohol to underage individuals are a problem. Come to think of it, alcohol is a problem, regardless of one's age.

asixbury 3 years, 3 months ago

Alcohol is only a problem when it is abused. I love having wine with dinner. Sometimes it's nice to pair beer with dinner as well...and after dinner, and anytime the mood strikes. I do not drink and drive or get into fights, and I am not an alcoholic. I rarely get drunk. Alcohol has been around in some form or another forever. Even other animals like to drink; just look it up in BBC online sometime.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Yes.

I also have the occasional glass of wine, and don't do any of the other things.

But our culture seems to be one of massive overindulgence, generally speaking.

What do you think would change that?

asixbury 3 years, 3 months ago

Stop prohibiting it so much. If children are raised with it not being such a "no-no," they wouldn't choose alcohol as a way to rebel. I read an article recently on BBC online, about the uproar in Great Britain with laws being passed requiring bars to ID patrons. They didn't like to have to always carry their ID, but they also didn't think the government should be "cracking down" on underage drinkers. The general populace thought it was better for the teenagers to drink in a safe place, then to drink in the streets. Like they said, teenagers are going to drink whether we like it or not. The least we could do (in their opinion) is create a safe environment for it. They must have been right about something, because after the law requiring bars to ID patrons, the crime rate related to teenage alcohol use has spiked.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

I think that's only one part of the picture.

Alcohol is legal for adults, and yet many adults overindulge, drink and drive, etc.

asixbury 3 years, 3 months ago

Very true. I think it stems from when they were teenagers; they grew up with the notion that to party and have fun, they have to drink to excess. If we, as a culture, find a way to curb this notion before it begins, then we may make some progress.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Yes.

It may also have something to do with the various stresses in our culture - that people feel a need to escape from.

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