Monday, August 19, 2013

Underage Drinking Can Lead To Serious Troubles Down The Road

Dear Tazi:

I think my big brother might have a drinking problem. He always has a water bottle full of some kind of clear liquid, but I don’t think it’s water because after drinking it his mood changes. Some days he gets very laid back and other times he gets goofy or moody. One time he left his water bottle out of the counter and I grabbed it to taste what was in it and he caught me and yelled at me to leave his stuff alone.

I have asked “Bradley” if he has ‘shine in his water bottle but he just made a mean face at me and said “wouldn’t you like to know”. Actually, I would, and not because I want to drink it (I don’t) but because I don’t like his mood when he drinks whatever is in that water bottle. I am only 14 but Bradley is 18. He is old enough to get in trouble if the Sherriff catches him out in public acting like he does around the house when he is drinking (at least, I THINK he is drinking).

My parents are divorced and Mom works a lot to take care of us, so she isn’t home much. The owner of the local diner told me that as soon as I can get my working papers I can have a job waitressing so I can help Mom with the bills and stuff, and I want to but I think that Bradley should be helping, too! He doesn’t work (he says he is looking) so I don’t know where he would get the money to buy hooch which is why I am not certain he has a drinking problem. I think if he has a drinking problem this could be why he can’t find a job.

I want to tell my Mom what I think but I also don’t want to add to her burdens and plus I have no proof that Bradley is drinking. What would you do, Tazi? I have tried to ask myself what would Jesus do but he hasn’t been answering me.

Kentucky Girl

Dear Kentucky Girl:

You sound like a very mature young lady to want to make life easier for your Mom, but you can do that by staying in school; getting good grades; and working part-time if the first two things on this list allow for it. You may not want to add to your Mom’s burdens, but how burdened do you think she will feel if your brother gets in trouble with the law for his behavior?

That's how them Duke boys got into trouble!

It is possible that Bradley is not drinking alcohol (moonshine, hooch) and that he simply has an energy drink with very high caffeine content; too much caffeine can affect a person’s mood in the way you have described – making them silly, moody, or laid back. Judging by Bradley’s reaction when he caught you with his water bottle it is quite possible he is drinking something he shouldn't.

You are right in thinking that a drinking problem can keep someone from getting a job, and it would be a shame to see someone as young as your brother waste his life on alcohol. I know it will take a lot of course, but you need to tell your Mom or another trusted adult about your brother’s behavior. If he does not have the money to buy ‘shine, he may be doing a favor for the person who is making it. If this is the case, he will be in much more trouble than he would be for public drunkenness; illegal manufacture of alcohol (which is what moonshine is) is a Federal crime. Sometimes telling on others is in their best interest.



P.S. Jesus always answers us; we just don't always like His answers!

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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