Tag Archives: alcohol

Turns Out That Under-25s Are Smarter and Safer Than Ever

Turns Out That Under-25s Are Smarter and Safer Than Ever

Young adults today might not be able to find a job, but they’re better behaved than they have been in the past 20 years. Less badass or more mature? You decide

“It’s an old axiom that every generation is more rebellious than the one that came before it. Ask any member of Generation X (or “the Olds,” as we call them) and they might rip out the tired cliché that kids today—what with their sexting gadgets and twerking pop stars—are cause for moral panic.

The reality is that compared with the previous generation, a relatively large proportion of young people are unemployed, saddled with loan debt and still living with their parents. Millennials, it might seem, despite being better educated than their forebearers, are failing at life.

But not so fast. According to data Vocativ culled from sources ranging from the Economic Policy Institute to the U.S. Department of Justice to the Centers for Disease Control, young adults in the U.S. are actually far more straight-laced than they were 20 years ago. When it comes to general shenanigans—including alcohol and drug use, teen pregnancy, violent crimes and more—rates have declined across the board over the past 20 years, except when it comes to smoking weed (which has risen 38 percent).

We took 20 years of data, from 1993 to 2013, taking the midpoint (2003) as a baseline set at zero for all categories. Red lines on our charts denote that things got worse, while the blue lines indicate that things improved.

Click through the various tabs below to see how 15- to 25-year-olds have been keeping their act together over the past two decades.




This should be a comfort to any parents who worry about their kids: According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, today’s young adults are consuming less alcohol and illicit drugs (cocaine, MDMA, heroin, etc.) than ever before. This excludes marijuana use, which has shot up, in line with America’s liberalized stance on weed, including the recent wave of legalization in a handful of states. Also, more kids are graduating from high school and fewer are committing violent crimes or getting knocked up than they were 20 years ago. So maybe weed isn’t so much a bad thing?


Unemployment figures tell a different, depressing story. According to a 2014 report from the Economic Policy Institute, unemployment for college graduates is 8.5 percent, while the rate for all 15- to 24-year-olds is a whopping 16.5 percent—more than twice the national average.


Regardless of the shitty job prospects for Americans under 25, young people today are staying in school longer than Gen Xers. Relative to 1993, more high school seniors are enrolling in higher education according to the report by the Economic Policy Institute, while the total undergraduate and graduate school enrollment continues to climb.


Drug and Alcohol Use: The National Institute on Drug Abuse; Teen Pregnancy:Center for Disease Control and Prevention; Abortion Rate: The Guttmacher Institute; High School Dropout Rate: National Center for Education Statistics; Youth Crime Rate: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; Youth Unemployment Rate: The Economic Policy Institute; Higher Education Enrollment: The Economic Policy Institute

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Problem Drinking In Midlife Linked To Memory Trouble Later

Problem Drinking In Midlife Linked To Memory Trouble Later

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A Beginner’s Guide to Ingesting Marijuana

A Beginner’s Guide to Ingesting Marijuana

How many high school and college students end up in the emergency room because they didn’t know their drinking limits? How many minors raid their parent’s medicine cabinets for prescription drugs? How many parents limit the amount of sugar their kids eat? Moderation is not a novel concept.

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Why Kentucky Bans Alcohol Sales on Election Days

Credit Gabe Bullard / WFPL News


“The ban on alcohol sales during the 6 a.m. to 6p.m. polling hours was a Prohibition-era response to what was already a well-established tradition in Kentucky—buying votes with liquor.

The problem goes back to the Antebellum period. Back then, it wasn’t unusual for saloons to double as polling places at the time. Corrupt politicians did whatever they could to make voters happy.

“And of course one way to do that was to keep the voters liquored up and basically seduce them or bribe them with drinks, free drinks, and it could actually skew the results of the election,” Jim Holmberg with the Filson Historical Society of Louisville. 

Booze for ballots became an issue.

Over the years, numerous attempts to bring back Kentucky’s Election Day sales have failed.

Liquor is a major business in Kentucky. This year, state Sen. John Schickel’s bill wasintroduced in the General Assembly amid growing concerns over millions of dollars lost sales—not only at bars, restaurants and liquor stores, but along Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail. In 2012, 509,292 people took tours at Bourbon Trail distilleries.

Those distillery tours are also shut down during polling hours.

Schickel told Kentucky Public Radio earlier in the session that the ban is no longer practical.  Elections are closely monitored on the state and federal levels for fraud. 

Schickel, a Republican from Union whose career was in law enforcement, said he’s never heard complaints about voters showing up drunk at the polls.

His bill does have a provision for communities that want to continue the ban.

“This law will allow election day sales, but it also allows for a local option if people don’t want it,” he said.

Chris Schreck says he’ll welcome an uptick in election day business. His family’s store, Shreck’s Baxter Liquors in Louisville, has been around since 1936, almost as long as Kentucky’s election day sales ban.

“We usually do about half the business (on Election Day) and they’re usually lined up at the door right when the election’s over.  The only bad part is it’s my golf day and I enjoy going out golfing with my buddies, but it’s fine with me if we’re open,” Shreck said.

Going into their respective legislative sessions, Kentucky and South Carolina were the only two states left with statewide bans on election day alcohol sales. 

In the Palmetto State, stores can sell beer and wine and restaurants can serve drinks, but package liquor sales are prohibited.  

Edward Lee, a history professor at Winthrop University History Professor—and the mayor of York, S.C.— said South Caroline has no movement afoot to allow more alcohol sales during elections.

“I think there’s a belief in South Carolina that alcohol and ballots are a combustible combination, so there’s not going to be that temptation, and we’re not going to have alcohol that readily available when people are visiting their polling places.  South Carolina goes its own way,  it’s historically gone its own way and I don’t see it changing,” Lee said.

The next statewide election day in Kentucky is May 20, 2014.

The 2013 General Assembly regular session is nearing an end. Barring a dramatic development, Kentuckians seeking to buy libations will have to wait until polls close or cross state lines.”

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March 14, 2013 · 5:40 pm

Drink to your health!

SATURDAY, FEB 2, 2013 06:00 PM EST
Drink to your health!
This piece originally appeared on Pacific Standard.

“The University of Washington has announced that “researchers employing a century-old observational technique have determined the precise configuration of humulones … that give beer its distinctive flavor.”

Now, if this were us doing the research, and we were inspecting some humulones, that observational technique would likely involve a sixer of imperial IPA, Pure Prairie League’s “Bustin’ Out” on vinyl, and (for later in the night) a white plastic bucket to be ridden like a bronco.

But the U-Dub research is considerably more sophisticated. And it has implications not just for beer-quaffing but for the treatment of disease.

The university teamed with a Seattle pharmaceutical firm to, once and for all, resolve the structure of the acids that are created by hops, which are used as a bittering agent in beer. Such compounds, they say, play a role in reports that moderate beer drinking can have positive health effects — on diabetes, forms of cancer, inflammation, even weight loss (explain that to some of my old college classmates).

“After decades of confusion,” they report in a study published this month by the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition, they’ve determined — using X-ray crystallography (something nobody ever lets us use around beer) — the “handedness” of the molecules. That’s important to understanding how the molecules will relate to each other and, in turn, whether those positive effects will be created.

“If they are paired correctly, they will fit together like a nut and bolt,” a release from the university states. “If paired incorrectly, they might not fit together at all or it could be like placing a right hand into a left-handed glove.”

Or worse than putting a right hand into a left-handed glove – putting a mutant limb into a left-handed glove. The paper’s lead author cites the use of thalidomide for pregnant mothers’ morning sickness in the middle of the 20th century. When the molecules in that drug shook hands properly, thalidomide worked properly. When they got into a fistfight, the drug produced horrific birth defects.

“Now that we know which hand belongs to which molecule, we can determine which molecule goes to which bitterness taste in beer,” the author says. And, potentially, which of these “humulones” can be prescribed as treatment.

Now, anybody willing to make a wager on how long it will take Dogfish Head to release a “Dr. Humulone’s Good-Time Medicine 60-Minute Belgian Black Ale Aged in Charred Chinese Pine Barrels”?

To your health!”

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February 3, 2013 · 8:08 pm