So how do people learn to use it?

Children given alcohol by parents in the belief it will foster responsible drinking are more likely to become binge drinkers, a major new study has found.

The six-year analysis of nearly 2,000 12 to 18-year-olds revealed there were “no benefits” to introducing alcohol to teenagers at home and that doing so only encouraged them to seek it elsewhere.

Writing in The Lancet, the researchers say that despite a widespread folk belief that a parentally-supplied glass of wine over Sunday lunch or a quiet beer in the evening promotes a stable attitude to drinking, there is in fact no reliable evidence to back this up.

Instead, they show that the chances of binge drinking, alcohol-related harm or displaying symptoms of alcohol use disorder are all higher in children provided alcohol by parents.

Bit difficult, really.

The analysis found that, on average, 62 per cent of teenagers who were not given alcohol by their parents went on to binge drink – described as four or more drinks in one session – compared to 81 per cent who were.

Ah, that’;s where the problem is then. The definition of binge. What we want to know is which training system leads to more people harming themselves, not the number who get drunk once in their lives.

37 comments on “So how do people learn to use it?

  1. “binge drink – described as four or more drinks in one session”

    Fuck me. I used to be four pints down after a game of rugby before my hair was dry after the shower.

    That was a warm up. If you tried to think the next day about how much you’d drunk the night before, you didn’t count what was drunk in the clubhouse, only what you had out on the town later.

  2. And are they controlling for other factors like whether parents are alkies or binge drinkers themselves?

  3. Funny drug, though, alcohol. Addictive and damaging but still sewn into the fabric of society.

    Alcohol itself is practically undrinkable so has to be watered down and the taste disguised.

    I can’t imagine many fathers taking pride in the first time they shared a crack pipe with their son but going down the pub with your dad for the first time is part of growing up.

    Still, looking forward to a pint this evening. Maybe four.

  4. The analysis found that, on average, 62 per cent of teenagers who were not given alcohol by their parents went on to binge drink – described as four or more drinks in one session – compared to 81 per cent who were.

    Am I being a bit thick or does that sentence make no sense at all…?

  5. Alcohol itself is practically undrinkable so has to be watered down and the taste disguised.

    Absolute alcohol is a relative recent (industrial) product. For the vast majority of human alcohol consumption, it was simply beer, wine, cider, mead and so on which was drunk, with distillation providing spirits much later.

  6. “binge drink – described as four or more drinks in one session”

    Is that “drinks” as in what they call “units”, so a couple of pints of beer (or even a pint and a half at the stronger end)? That’s binge drinking?

  7. Andrew C said:
    “Alcohol itself is practically undrinkable so has to be watered down and the taste disguised.”

    We don’t generally make drinks by starting off with pure alcohol and then diluting it. The “watered down and the taste disguised” is how it’s made.

    Beer, wine, cider, won’t get past a certain point of concentration. Yes, spirits can be made stronger and watered down, but even they aren’t created as pure alcohol; I’ve had cask strength whisky, at its highest concentration, before it’s watered back down to standard bottle strength, and even that’s still pleasant and drinkable.

  8. Check out wikipedia for Small Beer.

    Had this explained to me at Lacock Abbey (the cloister used in at least one of the H. Potter films).

    Small beer was nutritious (often with bits of cereal in it) and less contaminated than water. Lots of vitamin B2? I think. In times of famine, just what you need.

    Moar beer!

  9. What’s amazing is that this article appears in the Science section. Whatever else it may be science it is not.

    As has been pointed out, it doesn’t even tell you how much alcohol we’re talking about.

    And analyses are not science. They are NOT experiments. They are a way of looking at data, regardless of whether they are apples, oranges or orangutans, and drawing your own conclusions.

    I don’t presume to be analysing any data, but my experience as a parent is that if you tell children that something is forbidden you guarantee that they will try it.

  10. The very definition of binge drinking is simply to make the problem seem worse than it is. Technically my lunch with my father during the week (a bottle of wine between two with a small lager each as an aperitif) counts as binging when all it actually was was a long lunch.

  11. Is that “drinks” as in what they call “units”, so a couple of pints of beer (or even a pint and a half at the stronger end)? That’s binge drinking?

    I believe that is their definition. Utterly absurd.

    Anyway, I am old enough to remember the days when it was a fervently held middle class belief that drinking wine with dinner was the perfect way to introduce children to alcohol. The French do it, and if there is one group the English middle class is utterly servile to then it’s the French.

    Interesting if the pendulum is swinging again. Just replacing one herd opinion with another.

  12. Just another pack of health commissar CM lies.

    A decent PM would be handing out punishment .

    A good start would be turning medicine into a trade–which is what it is. High time all the snobbish “professional” cockrot was ended. Same for lawdogs.

    “The Professionals” was a shite series from the 70s. Time that the other “Professional” shitshow was ended.

  13. It’s striking how often this blog gives me the chance to point out that in my father’s school his choice at morning break was milk or small beer.

  14. Dear Mr Ecks it is very seldom if ever I disagree with anything you say, but I must take issue with your quite unwarranted slur on the marvellous TV series, The Professionals. Bit dated, sure. But good hearty stuff.

  15. Ooops totting up my daily average (aperol spritz couple of glasses of wine or three over supper, snifter or two of scotch before bed, that make me a binge drinker EVERY DAY!!!

    How do I ever make it to work of a morning?

    or are these people just complete fucking dickheads?

  16. BII:M At the time “The Professionals” was on TV “Starsky and Hutch” was the big TV hit. So nothing would do that the UK had to have some equivalent.

    While S&H were cops they at least were unorthodox cops with a limited respect for authority. The pilot of the show was a good TV movie in its own right and the first series was OK . After that they toned down the violence and I stopped watching.

    The UK’s version of a buddy cop show featured two utterly virtue-free, state-owned thugs under the command of an overweening Scotsman. If Cowley had asked Bodie and Doyle to beat a confession out of an innocent victim or kill someone inconvenient to the state and cover it up they conveyed the impression they’d have done it without batting an eye. I like violent shows –but the hero’s violence should at least serve the cause of good. With Bodie & Doyle it always seemed that being on the side of good was just accidental.

  17. How many French households raise ‘binge drinkers’ (even by the standards of this survey)?

    If we’re going to adopt the modern practice of assuming recent immigrants are fully paid-up nationals, there’s at least one in the western suburbs of Paris.

  18. @Bloke In Italy – January 26, 2018 at 11:40 am

    or are these people just complete fucking dickheads?

    It’s one of the dangers of allowing zealots to define the terms… Real “binge drinking” is necking 20+ glasses of lurid-coloured “shots” and ending up partially-dressed on the pavement in a pool of your own vomit and urine – not a couple of pints with the folks down the pub.

  19. Mr Ecks: “If Cowley had asked Bodie and Doyle to beat a confession out of an innocent victim or kill someone inconvenient to the state and cover it up they conveyed the impression they’d have done it without batting an eye….”

    Yes, and..? ‘We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm’, after all.

    Anyone else find it strange vegetarian, SJW-loving Martin Shaw is still on TV, while Lewis Collins isn’t?

  20. To answer Tim’s headline question, “So how do people learn to use it?”, they don’t want us to be drinking it at all.

  21. @ BiI
    Their definition of “Binge Drinking” is”four drinks in a session” – not in a day.
    The old-fashioned “one over the eight” – which usually meant eight half-pints – referred to an evening at the pub, not the whole day.

  22. Pogo: even getting bladdered on an evening’s worth of stickies and throwing up isn’t a binge. A proper binge has to span at least a twenty-four hour period. And it also has to be repeated on a fairly regular basis, otherwise it’s just “that one time me and Gaz got wasted, yeah it was epic”. If you can look at a clock, see it’s showing seven and not know whether that’s a.m. or p.m., then you’re on a binge. If at some point you have nodded off while standing up, you are likely on a binge. If you have consumed more than two kebabs at intervals not less than eight hours, you are likely on a binge.

  23. “Mr Ecks: “If Cowley had asked Bodie and Doyle to beat a confession out of an innocent victim or kill someone inconvenient to the state and cover it up they conveyed the impression they’d have done it without batting an eye….”

    Yes, and..? ‘We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm’, after all.”

    Your version of what’s needed and the scum of the state’s are likely to be two different things Julia.

    As you may find out first hand if Grandpa Death gets in.

  24. “Real ‘binge drinking’ is necking 20+ glasses of lurid-coloured ‘shots’ and ending up partially-dressed on the pavement in a pool of your own vomit and urine – not a couple of pints with the folks down the pub.”

    And they want to convince us even though they can’t tell the difference? Dickheads…

  25. Was it not on these pages that Tim once pointed out that the original study as to what level of alcohol consumption was actually bad for you turned out to be so ‘high’ that they simply made up a (much lower) number?

  26. “Was it not on these pages that Tim once pointed out that the original study as to what level of alcohol consumption was actually bad for you…”

    IIRC ’twas at El Reg where Tim’s wise words no longer appear. Nor do mine for that matter for I am banned.
    Apropos alcohol intake, it’s a classic J curve. A modest intake is better for you than abstention or “excessive” consumption.
    I put excessive in scare quotes because humans vary considerably in their responses to such things. Averages conceal as much as they reveal.

  27. The Lancet? The people who published Andrew Wakefield and a ludicrous survey on Iraq deaths, where the author insisted on it being published before the US presidential election.

    Scum. Absolute filth.

  28. “@Mr Ecks: He’s not going to get in.”

    I very much hope you are correct Julia.

    That was my original estimate also. But that was before the FFC started doing everything in her power to help him.

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