4/21/2005

Iowa "Alcohol Culture"

Easy access to alcohol and an alluring bar scene contribute to a high rate of drinking-related arrests, even by college-town standards A newspaper article full of fallacies, logical flaws, non sequiturs on the association of alcohol-related problems with "easy access" to alcohol. Of course, coming from Quebec which has comparatively loose alcohol laws and even more widespread availability of alcohol (especially for university students) to a dry university where they have more alcohol-related problems, I'm quite ready to challenge this point. Interestingly, they use the number of alcohol-related arrests as a major proof that they have more problems. What's the name of that specific logical flaw? From the article:
Recent studies show that people in the upper Midwest drink more than in other parts of the country and that heavy binge drinking corresponds with less-strict state laws on alcohol.
I'd really like to see those "studies," especially since it seems quite unlikely that the MidWest in general has looser state laws on alcohol than every part of the Northeast. Also, the article keeps saying that those who overindulge come from out of state so their data would in fact support the notion that Iowa has more problems because other places have stricter laws. There's a significant difference. One would hope that, one day, the US will wake up and see that restrictive attitudes toward alcohol compound the problem. It's even a problem for us in Quebec because "college" students from the US go across the border to drink excessively. Also, influence from the US, in some places, seems to make some Quebeckers see alcohol as a way to get drunk as opposed to a part of a normal healthy adult life. Hopefully, we'll keep the focus on responsible drinking and non-judgemental help for those who abuse alcohol for one reason or the other. As the Quebec liquor board says: «La modération a bien meilleur goût» ("responsible drinking tastes better").

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