DR. WALLACE: I'm a 20-year-old male, and I enjoy the taste of a cold beer. I drink one a day during the week and two or three per day on the weekends. I've never been drunk in my life, and I do not intend to be.
I've read so many times over the years all about how much damage alcohol can do your body, but I find it impossible to believe that a beer or two a day is really going to harm you. — Love the Suds, via email
LOVE THE SUDS: The jury is still out on whether small amounts of alcohol can cause ongoing physical damage, but the fact that you drink beer every day is a warning sign and could be troubling, especially in the long run. Alcohol is a very powerful and addictive drug.
Please read the following letter from a guy who lost it all because he thought he could handle a few of his "innocent" beers every now and then:
DR. WALLACE: When I was a teenager, I started drinking a few "innocent" beers every now and then, and by the time I was 29, I consumed three to six beers a day. Still, I thought I could handle my beer, so I got married and had three children.
I had a good job, and our family had a pretty good life — that is, when I wasn't drinking beer. When my wife eventually divorced me, I was a total alcoholic, consuming anywhere from 12 to 15 beers a day. Because of my alcoholism, I lost my family, my house and, finally, my job — which was a pretty good one that paid very well.
Luckily, I now have my life back to normal with the help, guidance and understanding of Alcoholics Anonymous.
So, teenagers, please don't think you can't get hooked on drinking just a beer or two a day. I'm living proof that you can. — Been There and Back
A READER WEIGHS IN
DR. WALLACE: I usually read your column, as I find the topics interesting, and I usually agree with your advice. However, I wasn't happy with some recent advice you gave to a young lady who wanted to stay with her grandparents in her existing city and graduate instead of moving to another city to live with her parents. You advised her to move with her parents.
High school is a very crucial time for teens. It's important for them to feel a part of things, especially at that stage in their development of growing into young adults. Going to a new school, she'll have to start all over making new friends. High school should be enjoyable and memorable with friends you've had for years.
So, I disagree with your advice. I think it would be best for her to graduate with her friends and join her parents later, because high school is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. — Reader With Another Viewpoint, via email
READER WITH ANOTHER VIEWPOINT: I thank you for your readership and am happy to provide you a chance to express your opinion here. I understand your position, and you offer good reasons not to move to a new school, but I must stick with my original advice; she should move with her mom and dad.
Young people are quite resilient, and most teens adjust to a new school and new set of friends rapidly.
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.
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