Well-Meaning but Misguided Alcohol Activists

A well-meaning activist group has called for a prohibition of alcohol sales at a recently constructed stadium. Its concern is that young people will see adults consuming alcohol at a concert or other event and will then drink. As a representative of the group explains, “our concern is that kids mirror what adults do.”

Indeed, young people do follow the example of adults, and especially of their parents. Therefore, if we drink and recognize that our children will grow up to be adults in a drinking world, then we should model moderate drinking for them.

If we either hide our drinking or drink abusively we are not providing a good role model for children to follow as they mature into adults. And if alcohol is banned at public places and treated as a “forbidden fruit,” then young people are denied a desirable learning experience.

Those societies and groups that have few alcohol problems have something in common: they all teach their children beliefs and attitudes favorable toward the moderate consumption of alcohol, and they do so from an early age.

If we stigmatize alcoholic beverages, de-normalize their consumption, and marginalize adults who drink in moderation, we will actually promote the abuse of alcohol.


  • Fernandez, Icess. University officials hear group’s alcohol concerns. Caller-Times, July 31, 2004.