March 13, 2013
Binge Drinking VS the Drinking Age
Presidents of college campuses around the nation face issues of underage drinking and binge drinking on a regular basis and realizes that it is a danger and a problem. “Alcohol consumption is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., a major contributing factor to unintentional injuries, the leading cause of death for youths and young adults, and accounts for an estimated 75,000 or more deaths in the United States annually” (Wechsler 2010). Binge drinking can be loosely defined as consuming five or more drinks at one sitting for men and four drinks for women. Binge drinking amongst college students is a social activity that allows students to let loose and “fit in”. Lowering the drinking age would not decrease binge drinking, but would only make alcohol more accessible to the students participating in the activities. We all want to keep college kids safe, and find a solution to the binge drinking problem on our college campuses, but lowering the drinking age is not going to stop the binge drinking.
Over 70% of students between the ages of 18-23 binge drink. The national minimum drinking age has been 21 since 1984. The age in most states right after Prohibition was 21, but was lowered during the Vietnam when the voting and drinking ages were lowered. “The lower minimum legal drinking age was followed by increases in the sale and consumption of alcohol and in alcohol-involved traffic fatalities, particularly among young adults aged 18–20 years. On the basis of these unintended health consequences of the lower drinking age, some states reinstated the minimum legal drinking age of 21 years” (Wagenaar). History has proven that lowering the drinking age increases the sale and consumption of alcohol. With this information we can deduce that binge drinking would only increase as well. The American Public Health Journal posted an article titled “Correlates of College Student Binge Drinking” which...
Cited: Research affects public policy: the case of the legal drinking age in the United States.
Wagenaar AC, Addiction. 1993 Jan; 88 Suppl():75S-81S.
Wechsler, H., & Nelson, T. F., ScD. (2010). Will increasing alcohol availability by lowering the minimum legal drinking age decrease drinking and related consequences among youths? American Journal of Public Health, 100(6), 986-92. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2866588/
Wechsler, Henry,Wuethrich, Bernice. Dying to Drink: Confronting Binge Drinking on College Campuses. Rodale Customer Service, 2002.
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