DR. WALLACE: I'm a nonalcoholic drinker, but I feel you are too dogmatic in your crusade to make all alcohol users nondrinkers. Many medical doctors prescribe wine for their patients. — Wine Sipper, Crown Point, Indiana
WINE SIPPER: A small amount of wine can't necessarily help what ails you, but pure grape juice may produce the same results. Alcohol is highly addictive and has ruined the lives of many drinkers and their families. In cases where drivers are under the influence of alcohol, the lives of innocent victims are destroyed. Even if "social" drinkers never become intoxicated, harm can still possibly occur to their bodies.
Alcohol is loaded with empty calories and offers no nourishment. Beer drinkers (usually men) are prone to developing a protruding stomach and can be undernourished.
I'll continue to encourage teens to avoid all forms of alcohol. If you enjoy the occasional glass of wine, I suggest that you keep it to a glass at a time — infrequently. Moderation is the key. Unfortunately, when it comes to alcohol, moderation is difficult for many age groups, especially teens.
A PLACE TO FIND NEW FRIENDS
DR. WALLACE: I'll confess upfront that I am far from being a teen: I'm an 86-year-old lady, but I am an avid reader of your column! I always enjoy reading about our wonderful young people. They are, indeed, our nation's future, and I always root for them. I see that many teens write to you from time to time saying they are bored, need something constructive to do or just need a friend to talk to. I'd like to mention a wonderful place to make new friends and end boredom — the nearest senior center. There, they will meet many wonderful people who are bursting to share their wisdom, experience and love. Many seniors are lonely but have a lot to share and are great listeners, too. I should know, I'm one of them! — Young at Heart, Omaha, Nebraska
YOUNG AT HEART: You've made a splendid suggestion! Teens are, by nature, a most caring group, and I know many of our teen readers will take notice and advantage of your generous offer. Each generation of young Americans can learn many great life lessons from their elders. Seniors have much to offer on many interesting topics, and those living at senior centers sure enjoy youthful visitors. Teens: Keep this in mind the next time you have free time and are looking for something enriching and empowering to do!
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.