Alcohol: What’s a parent to Believe?

The title of the book, Alcohol: What’s a Parent to Believe?, poses a very important question. Unfortunately, a parent should not believe much of this book’s contents. Part of “The Informed Parent” series, the book actually misinforms parents on a subject of great importance to them and their children.

Knowledgeable readers will know, but many parents will not, that:

  • The popular Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program is ineffective as is the “just say no” approach.
  • Parents who drink alcohol in moderation are not bad role models whose behavior leads to alcohol abuse by their teens.
  • Alcohol isn’t cocaine or heroin, nor is it like them in many ways; they aren’t equivalent.
  • Over 80% of college sorority and fraternity members aren’t binge drinkers, by any reasonable definition of that term.
  • Moderate alcohol consumption by adults isn’t unnatural or abnormal, nor should such drinking be hidden from teens.
  • Those under the age of 21 can drink in moderation, and millions around the world do so.
  • Moderate alcohol consumption doesn’t cause fibrosis in the liver.
  • The occasional light consumption of alcohol has never been found to cause fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) by scientific medical research.
  • Drinking in moderation doesn’t impair the body’s immune defense system against disease.
  • The health benefits to adults of moderate alcohol consumption are significant, improving health and saving millions of lives each year.
  • Alcohol ads don’t cause young people to begin drinking, according to decades of scientific research around the world by governments, health agencies, and universities. However, effective ads can influence brand loyalty and market share.
  • And the list goes on and on.

Those aware of the risks and health and other benefits to adults associated with moderate drinking will be surprised to find seven (7) pages devoted to risks from drinking alcohol but only about a dozen lines to the all the benefits.

The author is described as a popular lecturer, writer and family therapist in Provo, Utah. The book is published by the Hazelden Foundation, which promotes abstinence for adults.


  • Biddulph, S.G. Alcohol: What’s a Parent to Believe? (The Informed Parent series). Center City, MN: Hazelden, 2003.