Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

links for 2009-12-19

  • PARENTS must NEVER give kids under 15 booze, Britain's top doctor will say today.

    Even a little gives them the taste and can lead to heavy and binge drinking in later life.

    Sir Liam Donaldson's warning comes with today's release of the Government's first official guidance for parents on children and alcohol.

    (tags: CMO alcohol)
  • ALMOST one in six 16 to 17-year-olds admit getting drunk THREE times a week, a report reveals.

    Ten per cent confessed to having sex while drunk and later regretting it.

    As many as one in four had been boozing before having unprotected sex for the first time.

    (tags: CMO alcohol)
  • Available data tells us that Donaldson isn't right or wrong: if born in England into a family that does not abuse alcohol, a young person is more likely to follow the drinking patterns already established by his country and peers, regardless of whether or not she or he was sipping beer with parents aged 11. As epidemiologist Marie Choquet points out, we can put forward the hypothesis that wilful intoxication is a model that tends to fade with age. It is therefore down to us adults to show a good example to our teenagers. I am reminded of the words of food activist Michael Pollan on eating responsibly: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." A similar quote could be drafted when it comes to alcohol: "Savour quality, artisan drinks with friends. Not too many. Do not drive."
    (tags: CMO alcohol)
  • Though he's recently announced his retirement , the chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson still seems to have a fair bit of fight in him. Today he's announced that there's no evidence whatsoever that introducing kids to alcohol early encourages sensible drinking in later life. In doing so he's charging directly at the dearly held middle class myth of 'wine weaning'. If we all just behaved like they do on the continent, the theory goes, giving kids watered wine as we all snarf local cheeses and fresh bread under the loggia, then they won't turn into drunken hoodies when they grow up.

    It's a lovely notion, and fiercely cleaved to by those who summer in Provence and Umbria. Maybe they're right – they have the experience. On the other hand, I heard a similar theory of child rearing in the backwoods of Tennessee as I watched a 10 year old girl put 30 rounds in a 5" group with an AR15 assault rifle.

    (tags: CMO alcohol)
  • Parents who have a "laissez-faire" attitude to their children's drinking have been warned they are putting them at risk.

    Sir Liam Donaldson, the chief medical officer, said people who allow their teenagers to drink alcohol with their friends could be storing up problems, while middle-class families who dilute their children's wine may also be misguided.

    (tags: CMO alcohol)
  • LONDON (Reuters) – Parents should not give any alcohol to children before they are 15 and only in small amounts when they are older if the country's serious alcohol problem is to be tackled, England's top doctor said on Thursday.
    (tags: cmo alcohol)
  • This weekend I shall sit down to Sunday lunch with my children, splash their glasses with a drop of claret, and drink a hearty toast to the departure of the Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson. My children are nine and 11, so I know Sir Liam would disapprove – indeed, he told us as much in his latest fatwa. "Children under 15 should not drink alcohol at all," declared his new health guidelines on children's drinking. "Those between 15 and 17 should be supervised by their parents if they are drinking and should limit alcohol intake to one day a week."
    (tags: CMO alcohol)
  • Short video on the CMO's guidance on alcohol
    (tags: CMO)
  • Sorry, Sir Liam but I am not going to fall in with your latest recommendations on teenage drinking. You may be aboslutely right in saying that no child under 15 should touch alcohol, but if my fourteen year old – or indeed my ten year old – asks for a drink, I shall let him or her have one. If the child feels sick afterwards, that’s fine.
    (tags: CMO alcohol)

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