How alcohol leads to harder drugs (letter)by Dr Arnold JagoNews Weekly
, March 27, 2004
The key to curbing Australia's drug problems, David Perrin (News Weekly
, February 28) reminds us, is to reduce new users aged under 20.
Many youngsters first use illicit drugs at drinking parties - their decision being influenced by already being intoxicated.
To reduce youth drug use, we must tackle under-age drinking.
Some states in the USA, after raising drinking ages, e.g. from 18 to 20, noted that fewer 16 and 17 year olds were getting into trouble for illegal drinking (See R.A. Smith et al, "Legislation Raising the legal Drinking Age in Massachusetts from 18 to 20: Effect on 16 and 17-year-olds", Journal of Studies on Alcohol
, Volume 45, No 6 (1984), 534-539).
Young teenagers who get away with claiming to be 18 have more trouble convincing liquor suppliers that they are 20.
Our efforts to reduce illegal drug use by the young should include campaigning for raised drinking age limits.Dr Arnold Jago,