Most Oklahoma adults don’t binge drink, but…among those who do binge drink, Oklahoma is among the top 5 states in the nation for intensity of binge drinking. Binge-drinking in Oklahoma occurs at an average rate of 8 drinks per sitting! (Source: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System) This far exceeds the standard definition of what is already considered binge drinking: four drinks for women per sitting, and five for men.
The alcohol industry has no shortage of resources to figure out how to market to adults and children. Other industries piggy-back on these messages in order to sell products. OKPTA Cultivate ran across this same t-shirt twice in the last month – once at a local Goodwill and once on Facebook. It says “Shut up liver, you’re fine”. Yes, it’s a joke, but beyond the joke is a harmful message. If making heavy alcohol use seem normal while minimizing the harm is not the message we want our kids to receive, then we have to teach them to dissect the information. We have to teach kids to ask who benefits and who makes money when we buy into these messages? Also, who is harmed? Critical thinking when it comes to media messages is key. While we as parents can’t control everything our kids see, we have the power to turn a message into a teachable moment.