A Third of 11-Year-Olds in Milan, Italy Have Drinking Problems!

Sure, teenagers everywhere try to sneak in a beer or two. It's practically a rite of passage, but the city of Milan, Italy is cracking down on teenage drinking because they have a bad problem of underage drinking.

How bad? Let's put it this way: a third of 11-year-olds in the city have alcohol-related problems!

... the authorities are deeply concerned about the increase in consumption of alcohol by children as young as 11 in the country's industrial and financial capital.

So as an experiment, supplying alcohol - either wine or spirits - to youths under the age of 16 in bars, restaurants, pizza shops and liquor stores will be banned. [...]

Some people are pessimistic that the city-wide ban will ever work:

A national law banning the sale of alcohol to under-16s is only loosely enforced, as Italian families are used to sometimes giving young children a teaspoon of wine as a family party treat.

In past centuries, Italian children would sometimes even be given wine to drink in preference to water which was often polluted.


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Oh c'mon, the title of the post is simply ridiculous and offensive!!! Maybe you can say that people of that age already tried alcohol, but not that they have drinking problems... that is just plain silly. Please DO pay attention to what you write!
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Note the "in past centuries" part. Refrigeration, pasteurization, and related technologies are fairly recent innovations. In past centuries, juice would quickly become wine all by itself.

Smells like a moral panic to me and moral panics are usually a simple way to grab power (or distract people so you can grab more power). I wonder if these "alcohol related problems" are anything like all the Americans in addiction programs for marijuana.
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