Sunday, April 15, 2012

alcoholics anonymous

dr michael car-greg is a magazine psychologist. if you've ever read any magazine, from girlfriend and dolly to cosmo or the woman's weekly, you'd have to know who he is. he's pretty powerful, so his point of view counts. and right now, his point of view is that we need to increase the legal drinking age to 21

i don't know if that would help much. it doesn't seem to have done much in the us, but hey, every country is different.

i know something that i think really would help; taking high schoolers to aa meetings. 

my stepdad worked in prison ministry for most of my childhood, so i spent a lot of time accompanying him on visits to silverwater jail. i've heard more stories and testimonies from current and former drug addicts and alcholics than i can count on two hands. their stories were empowering and informative for me, because it was impossible not to be impacted by their stories about the children they hurt, the money they lost, the friends they betrayed, and the dreams they crushed. i knew that most addicts had started off as angry or bored kids, many of whom had no idea what they were getting into. 

i was warned, and informed, and i learnt compassion.   

last week, i went to an aa meeting with a good friend of mine, who is an alcoholic. (one who has been sober now for nearly two years. what a champion! )

i was so inspired by the format of the meetings. alcoholics, some sober and other still struggling, share their stories. they begin by introducing themselves and acknowledging their alcoholism, and then they talk. and talk and talk and talk. 

i wish more teenagers could hear what they have to say. no-one could have left that meeting still thinking that drunkenness is funny or harmless or cool.

and kids would learn heaps. they'd learn how to identify an addict from a social drinker, what factors increase your chance of becoming an alcoholic, how alcoholism will ruin your life, and how to help out a  friend who drink too much. 

i don' really know if it's a plausible idea, but i do know that education and wisdom are more useful than prohibition


  1. That's a brilliant idea! Have you ever considered asking a teacher whether that would work or would be possible in your area? I think it could make a big difference.

    Maybe it would be better to make those trips with chaplins or mentors rather than establishing them as a part of the school curriculum. If it's another school thing forced upon them at-risk kids might would develop an attitude against the trips and shut their ears. They shouldn't get an attitude problem, but they might.

    But if they went there with a chaplain or a mentor or somebody with a personal relationship with them, then they might not set their hearts against learning the lesson. And that personal relationship would help the mentor drive the lesson home even harder.

    I don't know, I don't have much experience with at-risk kids. Maybe they'd be fine with the teachers. However it was done, I think it would be much better than legalistic rules about when you can and can't drink.

  2. Josh, I agree. I actually think parents should take their kids, then they can discuss it together afterward. My parents were always right by my side when we visited prisons etc.

    I can't seriously imagine school excursions, I don't think people attending AA meetings would necessarily appreciate being gawked at by 30 school kids.