Consider a time when cars did not have seat belts. If you are old enough, you might recall riding on the passenger side and when approaching a stop sign, the driver reached over to catch your mid section. That was very common and a way to protect a passenger. Through research it was determined the stiff arm is just not quite "cutting it" as the best protection from the windshield. Then came the new regulations for uniform seat belts in all cars. What a huge change for the better since seat belts have saved many, many lives!
Let's get back to the important matter at hand-underage drinking. We now know that early drinking increases the likelihood of addictions. We'd like to think when people hear the new research they would make changes. It is not that easy. The challenge is that underage drinking was a way of life for many who survived it all without a problem. When we try to "install the seat belt" (so to speak) through recommending community changes-we know that it is hard for people. We aim to keep getting better at explaining and working with, not against those most affected by the changes.
Here's one way to understand this:
Consider how a tornado moves through a town. Some homes are barely affected. Some are completely demolished. The same can happen with alcohol. Some people can begin drinking early and lead a productive, successful life. Other lives are ruined. Isn't that enough to consider changing what we allow in our communities? After all, like tornadoes, excessive alcohol use for some can cause permanent damage.
In good health, Betsy