Putting American Teenagers to the way of Responsible Drinking

I’d like people to know how this debate from another country than from United States. I live in Canada, in the province of Quebec more exactly. The legal age here is 18. But our law is way different than what it is in southern neighbour. Our law says you need to be 18 to only to buy alcohol. Drinking is permitted at any age. So, it’s up to your parent to decide if you should drink or not. This is part of our education. Parents should raise their kids to be responsible when it comes to drinking.

If you search over the Internet, you’ll find a lot of post by young Americans asking what is the legal age to drink in Canada. Every spring break, we hear one time or two, about Americans that had car accident while returning to their country. After a wild night in Montreal City, they decided to get back home. Sad story but true story. But this only reflect one things : Young Americans don’t know how to drink. They act the same way a kid would do in face of a cookie jar. He would eat as much as he can before getting sick. Shouldn’t young man and women who are now major, who have the right to marry, the right to sign up and die, the right to vote; shouldn’t they be enough responsible to take those decisions? Shouldn’t they be educated to drinking alcohol. I don’t mean to encourage alcohol consumption. I mean taking your responsibility in face of your own consumption, in matter that it can affect your own life and the someone else life. Drunk driving in Canada isn’t higher than in United States. I fact, I wouldn’t drive under the influence. I usually try not to drive at all after drinking and most people that I know do so too.

Endurance is sometime used as an arguments. I’d like to say that the age as not much to do with it. It’s all about consumption habits. I’m now in my mid-20 and I’ve had some wild night too. During high school I did drink a lot. But as years passed by, my alcohol consumption have reduced a lot so do my endurance. I used to be able to drink a dozen of beer or more in a night. Nowadays I’ll stop at four. Not to say that Canadian beer is way harder than what is sold in our southern neighbour. We use to say that American beer is beer-tasting water. Canadian beer are also rated differently than American ones. The percentage of alcohol written our bottles is the minimum percentage of alcohol found in it, while if I remember well, American one used to be the maximum. I went to Florida two years ago to see my grandfather and during a party I drank twelve Busch beer can without even feeling drunk! Imagine what happens when young American comes to Canada to drink? Commercial beer here are often rated at 5.5% or 6.1%. We also a lot of beer going between 7% and 9%. These are way higher than the 2%-4% that I’ve seen on American beer. I’m pretty sure there is local breweries in US making beer like that, but how many people there are used to drink that kind of beers? See, endurance is not only define by how often you drink, but by how much you drink and what you drink. Europeans are even more tougher than us when it come to endurance. I friend of mind which is a great drinker, went to Belgium during a month. He made friends there, and he had troubles following them drinking.

Some may think so much drinking may lead to alcoholism. People do drink for fun. Youngster drink a lot because they like the effect. I like to have a great wine because it taste good. I also like to take a beer sometime when I come back home from job because its a time I take to relax and enjoy my beer. Reasonable drinking is a pleasure. This is what we should teach our kids. Alcoholism is not a pleasure. Becoming alcoholic is way more than simply being addicted to it. Alcoholism often cover a lot of problems that the alcoholic person try to forget. There is a real danger into alcoholism, but most people drinking for fun will usually have other health problems before becoming alcoholic. Being reasonable is the key. You can’t learn to be reasonable if can’t drink at all. Not that teen should drink without supervision. Parent should be there to teach them how to drink. This way, when teens go to a party, they won’t get into troubles drinking way too much that they can handle or doing some stupid things. America, teach your young man and women how to drink! It’s not by refusing them to drink that they’ll become responsible. Teen loves to break interdictions. Show them the way to responsible drinking.

Thank you for reading me, and have a nice drink.