Binge drinking. Alcohol poisoning. Prescription sharing. Painkiller addiction. These are all serious problems for teens and college students. Although it is unlikely that we are going to get kids to stop experimenting or partying altogether, we don’t need to encourage it.
Urban Outfitters, known for supplying teens and college students with trendy and low-cost clothing, accessories and household goods, may be going a bit too far with one current product line. Can coolers, shot glasses and coasters with a “prescription” theme seem to glorify overindulging while winking at the prescription drug abuse that is leading to many addiction issues.
The Can Cooler doesn’t just keep your beer cold; it directs drinkers, via a prescription, to “take one can by mouth, repeat until intoxicated.” The Boozemin Flask has a product description that suggests you, “fill that liquid poison prescription.” The Syringe Shot Shooter allows you to, “prescribe yourself a small dose of pleasure” or, as the overview touts, “fill it up with booze and let the healing begin!” The three-pack of shot glasses boasts a prescription number that reads “vry-nbr8td” and a quantity suggestion of, “as many as you can stomach.” If you want to personalize your drinking experience, the Prescription Coasters allow you to use a pen to write in your own prescription such as, “down four drinks and call me in the morning.” Never mind that ingesting four drinks in a short period of time has negative health effects. Urban Outfitters stops just short of outright championing binge drinking and drinking culture.
Urban Outfitters isn’t to blame for teens or college students drinking, and there isn’t proof that products like these lead to addiction or alcohol abuse. However such advertising contributes to a climate where overindulging is seen as funny or the norm. Instructing younger drinkers to binge or drink to excess – even if that message is delivered through a line of tongue-in-cheek novelty products – is unnecessary at best and irresponsible at worst.
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