Here’s one story you won’t likely see spread by Alcohol Justice or any of the other prohibitionist organizations. Since 1975, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has done a survey of “drug, alcohol, and cigarette use and related attitudes among adolescent students nationwide.” This year, “45,449 students from 395 public and private schools participated” in the annual Monitoring the Future survey, which is conducted by the University of Michigan.
This year’s findings, at least in regards to alcohol, are encouraging, according to the survey’s authors, as detailed in their Monitoring the Future Survey, Monitoring the Future Survey, Overview of Findings 2013.
5-year trends continue to show significant decreases in alcohol use among all grades and across nearly all prevalence periods. For example, from 2008 to 2013, current use of alcohol declined from 15.9% to 10.2% among 8th graders, from 28.8% to 25.7% among 10th graders, and from 43.1% to 39.2% among 12th graders. From 2012 to 2013, decreases were observed in binge use of alcohol (defined as five or more drinks in a row in the last 2 weeks) among 10th graders, with a 5-year trend showing a significant decrease in all three grades.
That, in fact, has been the trend over the past few years.
They’re more concerned about the use of prescription drugs among our nation’s youth, along with pot and smoking tobacco in a hookah, all of which are on the rise. But I don’t hear the prohibitionists trying to remove prescription drugs from the marketplace on the off chance kids could get their hands on them. I haven’t heard them trying to restrict Viagra or other legal drug ads because kids might see them, or restrict the displays and shelves of drugs because the kiddies might walk by and see them, and in seeing them they would undoubtedly want them, not being able to help themselves. It sounds silly doesn’t it, but that’s the general argument the prohibitionists use to argue against beer ads and beer on store shelves where children might see them.
But while they’ve been incessantly claiming beer ads make kids start drinking and responsibility efforts by the alcohol companies don’t work and all of us in the beer world are the spawn of satan, kids have been drinking less and less, year after year. You’d think that it would be cause for celebration by the groups that are working tirelessly to punish the alcohol companies for their wickedness and claim to want to put a stop to underage drinking. But that might put a dent in their fundraising efforts, so that, I believe, is why you’ll never see a positive story from a prohibitionist organization.