What does “Drink Responsibly Mean?”

This post is something I had to get off of my chest. I had planned to discuss a brewery tour at Karbach in Houston this past Saturday but I  need to say this first and then I will come back to that post.

My observations – .

Young people back in my generation… teen years in the 60’s probably did not differ from the intervening generations when it came to drinking and drinking in excess, i.e., not drinking responsibly. I see that there is a certain age of exploration among young people than seems to be pretty much the same across generations. (see link below) I have heard consistent anecdotal evidence from my parents that “under age beer drinking” was common in the 40’s and 50’s apparently not much different from my generation and probably no different from the explorational influences on my children’s generation. What I have seen is how my children’s generation have demonstrated a very different and in a very positive departure from the previous generations. Bear with me while I elaborate.

I have heard my peers and their parents, my parents, raise a common lament. They “all” say  that “times were different back then”. That drinking didn’t cause the problems that the drinking causes now, it was different back then. I will go out on a limb and say that yes and no!

Back then and Now;

  1. It was an accepted rite of passage and they all go through it. – Age of exploration back then.
  2. Young people still drink alcohol like their parents did – the trip through the age of exploration – most move through it and do drink “responsibly” going forward in their mid-twenties. Unfortunately the consequences of not moving through can become tragic, regardless of the generation.
  3. Young people died in alcohol related crashes….innocent people died at the hands of drunk drivers – less media coverage back then – it is front page now! The pain and impact on families has not lessened or changed.
  4. The authorities tended to be lenient and shoo the kids back home after dumping out the beverages. Not so now. The realization of the liabilities and consequences are too high.
  5. Driving under the influence was commonly accepted and we usually chose the most sober as the driver. Thank God there has been a huge and positive shift to using designated drivers – unfortunately, it is not 100% universal.
  6. Peer pressure to conform to the crowd hasn’t changed! That is an unfortunate fact of life.

I could probably ramble on and I know many readers could support the statements above with an unending list of anecdotes – that in itself is troubling. Some would be humorous and some were certainly tragic. I want to thank one of my daughters for causing me to reflect on this issue. She posted a great note on Super Bowl Sunday – she asked that anyone needing to have a driver on that National Party day to call her and she would become their personal DD. As a parent I never want to receive that dreaded call about a loved one that doesn’t make it home and even worse that they have taken the precious gift of life from someone else.

In good old boy terms that lament from prior generations – “Oh, it was different back then” – “Well in my book -That dog don’t hunt”

So – Drinking Responsibly is much more than a tag line at the end of an alcoholic beverage ad….. a noble gesture but it does not gain traction until we all step up and help everyone that we love and care about to make the choices that matter most.


Young Adult Drinking


Urban Dictionary