Girl, Interrupting

June 3, 2010

Monkeys can’t take their booze

Filed under: drugs,random,Uncategorized — sylviamclain @ 9:00 am
Tags: ,

and neither can adolescents…


New Scientist reports in an article Binge Drinking Rots Teenage Brains that if you binge drink as a teen, your stem cells are going to die and you will have lasting damage to your spatial and memory thought functions (space and damn what was I saying?)

They found this out after feeding adolescent monkeys alcohol daily over 11 months and then doing an autopsy on their brains 2 months later.

Is doing an autopsy after 2 months really proof of lasting damage?
I would say no – but hey maybe I am wrong

In this article this research:
…. reinforces the rationale for anti-alcohol policies in the US and elsewhere which aim to raise the age at with people start to drink.

First of all I am not advocating youthful (or any) binge drinking… but this is not really a good direct link… The damage may or may not be lasting from tippling human teens BUT from this article it isn’t clear to me that your brain won’t recover and that the damage is truly lasting. They didn’t give the little monkeys time to shake it off and see how they grew into adulthood

Using these kind of studies to support why kid’s shouldn’t drink, doesn’t work. It never has, its like Nancy Reagan’s just say No campaign – that didn’t work either.

Or the
This is your brain on drugs add in the US from the late 1980’s…
brain on drugs

this doesn’t work either –
Why doesn’t it work?

Because usually these kinds of campaigns are either based on some kind of psuedoscience or on faulty scientific reporting. Or worse, as in the present case, it’s based on exaggerating some real scientific results, making them appear to have a much stronger causal link than they actually do.

Its not that I think you shouldn’t campaign against the use of drugs in teens or anyone else for that matter, but at least try to be more realistic about it, and don’t use scientific tactics unless they are reasonably presented. This not only doesn’t help anyone stop binge drinking but it gives scientific evidence a bad name.

Science reported in this fear-mongering kind of way can come back and bite you in the face. Why? Because its over-egging the pudding. And people aren’t stupid – when they find out it isn’t necessarily or completely true, then its easy to reject the scientific bases altogether.

Its easy for people to distrust what scientists say or rather what is reported that scientists say, when there are over-arching conclusions about why something is bad for you. And it doesn’t help to increase scientific literacy, or help stop binge drinking in teenagers or monkeys for that matter.

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