I'm quite saddened by the calls today to ban alcohol being given to children under 15. I was always allowed, in fact encouraged, to have a glass of wine with Sunday dinner. This has undoubtedly given me a rather expensive fondness for decent red, but it did mean that I knew what it was all about and I learned to drink sensibly. I have overindulged over the years, but not to huge excess.
I'm never very keen on these knee jerk solutions which involve banning things. We need to learn to drink better, and to do that we need to look at why young people are developing dependencies to drink and drugs at such young ages. What is missing from their lives and how do we put it back?
As usual I think part of it comes down to strong family life, loving parents, and close attachment. There's nothing as good as spending quality time with those you love and it's very sad that many people don't get to experience as much of that as they need.
The solution is not to ban, but to tackle the causes of the serious problem.