4 April 2019
Let Them Drink
Underaged drinking has become a problem in the US and in fact there has been a rise in the last few years. The word problem isn’t being used as an extreme like dying of alcohol abuse, but in the in the means of social acceptance. Every year teenagers sneak around engage in risky behavior because of the law and parents who look down upon them. Instead of making it a bigger deal, just let them drink. The benefits will outweigh the misconceptions of underaged drinkers. The following articles use examples by comparing colleges, countries, and statistics to help us see why lowering the drinking age will be a good thing.
The first article I came across shows us two examples of colleges, Dartmouth and McGill University and their experience on lowering the drinking age. The article, “One benefit to a lower drinking age: fewer alcohol emergencies” by Guenther, Harrison, Kortenberg, and Stinson shows us by lowering drinking age there were less incidences related to alcohol as well as lesser consumption per day. A short quote can put things into better perspective, “…we must move beyond rhetoric and begin to consider proactive ways of teaching young adults about responsible drinking” (Guenther et al. pg1). Dartmouth is a college that upholds the 21yr old drinking age and with 4,000 undergraduate students they claim 200 alcohol induced incidences each year. McGill is a college in Montreal Canada that allows 18yr old teenagers to drink alcoholic beverages. With 20,000 undergrads (five times the amount of Dartmouth) had only 12 incidences. How could this be possible if the common conception means that underaged drinking leads to more emergencies. In fact there were fewer cases of alcohol consumption when exposing the truth of other social acceptances to alcohol consumption. Showing underaged students that college wasn’t a place to excuse abusive drinking the comparison shows a dramatic decrease in usage and emergencies.
After the example as to colleges in their experience of having a lower drinking age there is more statistical evidence to prove the benefits furthermore. The statistics show the percentages of accidents which involve traffic deaths related to alcohol in the US versus other countries. “In the United States, 31% of road traffic deaths involve alcohol. This percentage is higher than many countries with a drinking age lower than 21 such as France (29%), Great Britain (16%), Germany (9%), China (4%), and Israel (3%)” (Qiong,Guohui). These percentage can help us understand that a lower drinking age doesn’t correlate to teens drunk driving if 21yr olds have a higher risk. Exposing teenagers to the cause and effect of alcohol consumption as well as the social understandings of use can enlighten the responsibilities that are necessary. These aren’t just statistics of other countries who have lowered the drinking age, but the data to show that managing teen drinking and exposing the social culture of being an adult creates a more responsible youth. Having more responsible young adults leads them to see all sides of the consequences and induce the thoughtful thinking. When teens can think for themselves and see the poor choices others make there is an impression made that teens won’t ever want to be involved in.
With review of the statistics that show us the comparison of lowering the drinking age and the benefits. This article “how to manage teen drinking” could show us here in the US how we could adapt to principals, social acceptance, and exposure to fight the problem of underaged drinking. Teens drink to the social misconceptions other students have learned and repeat. A professor paid students to find data on the how often they consumed alcohol and how much. “With the help of posters and newspaper ads, college officials publicized the fact that a majority of students on campus drank twice a week or less, that the majority of seniors consumed four or fewer drinks at parties, and that three-quarters of the alcohol on campus was consumed by just
Source: White et al 2005. one-third of the students” (Kluegar et al. pg1). When the data was published and the students got to review statistics on consumption and frequency. Educating underaged drinkers gave them the opportunity accept and critically think for themselves if they drink because they are substance abusers or if they’re conforming to a misconception. The statistics show us these students were able to think for themselves and drink less frequently as well fewer drinks at a time by a substantial number of students.
Lastly an article I chose uses a study done in France asking underaged teens and their drinking habits. The article,”With a Little Help From Adults: Positive Emotion as an Excuse for Underage Drinking” by Lubomir Lamy goes into detail on how many teens drink and how much. Teens will drink one way or another and it is up to us to respond emotionally supportive or tell them no and that they are irresponsible. Lamy writes “Among boys ages 16 and 17, 16% state they had drunk “five glasses or more in one sitting” 10 or more times during the past 12 months, and 12% stated that they got drunk over the same period. Among boys 18 to 20 years of age, these figures rise to 27% and 15%, respectively”. Weather teens drink because of happiness or sadness the adults around should try to understand and talk rather than come down of them for doing what they have learned behavior for. Many adults will drink for all different occasions, so if a teen chooses to do so in the best or worse situations then we should be there for them in an emotional and supportive way.
Now that I have showed the evidence of how lowering the drinking age can be beneficial I would like the US to see that it is not a problem. Exposure at a younger age has shown to decrease frequency of drinking as well as how much is consumed per sitting. There is no correlation to deadly traffic accidents and in fact shows a reduction in almost all alcohol related accidents. Every statistic points in the direction of a more positive future with more responsible adults who can critically think about the risk about drinking. Lets solve this so called problem by letting them drink. As we manage teen drinking and accept it socially there will be less of a misconception and reduce the want of teenagers to be reckless about the times they decide to consumer alcohol.
Guenther, Scott, et al. “One Benefit to a Lower Drinking Age: Fewer Alcohol Emergencies.” Christian Science Monitor, vol. 98, no. 41, 25 Jan. 2006, p. 8. EBSCOhost, chaffey.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/ login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=19492508&site=ehost-live.
This is a short article that compares 2 colleges, Dartmouth and McGill. With a huge difference in undergraduate students McGill see one twentieth of the alcohol emergencies Dartmouth encounters. Even though McGill has a legal drinking age of 18yrs old there seems to be more responsibility when exposed at a younger age. Im using this source in this first paragraph to compare the common misconception underaged drinking is related to more incidences. This is only an example of college rather than a population. I trust this source as it comes from the Chaffey library data base.
Kluger, Jeffrey, et al. “HOW TO MANAGE TEEN DRINKING (the Smart Way).” TIME Magazine, vol. 157, no. 24, June 2001, p. 42. EBSCOhost, chaffey.idm.oclc.org/login? url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx? direct=true&db=a9h&AN=4569586&site=ehost-live.
Underaged drinking is a problem throughout colleges and the way to fix it is to educate youth on the misconception on the acceptable limit to drink. After educating teenagers the common drinking habits more and more kids decide to not out due the abuse they hear about. Im using this report to show that students drink to live up to the standards that are seen or heard. When you debunk misconceptions of abuse and make alcohol more available instead of keeping it our of reach everyone else will conform. This is another source from the Chaffey library database.
Lamy, Lubomir, et al. “With a Little Help From Adults: Positive Emotion as an Excuse for Underage Drinking.” Basic & Applied Social Psychology, vol. 39, no. 5, Sept. 2017, pp. 287–291. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/01973533.2017.1351973.
This article is an experiment with statistics to back up points. The main goal is to see why teens drink, because of control, funeral, love, or diploma. I focus more on why the youth drink and how adults should emotionally support and understand rather than come down on them even harder for breaking the law. This article comes from the Chaffey library database.
Qiong Wu, and Guohui Zhang. “Formulating Alcohol-Influenced Driver’s Injury Severities in Intersection-Related Crashes.” Transport (16484142), vol. 33, no. 1, Mar. 2018, pp. 165– 176. EBSCOhost, doi:10.3846/16484142.2016.1144221.
My shortest article shows the statistical data about deadly traffic incidents with alcohol involvement. Five other countries present lower percentages than the US with the legal age to consume alcohol to be under 21yrs old. Im using this to show the reader data on other countries who experience less alcohol induce accidents related to deadly accidents. Although I found this article on procon.org the writers of these stats are doctors and chose to review these numbers as true.
White, Helene-Raskin, and Kristina Jackson. “Social and Psychological Influences on Emerging Adult Drinking Behavior.” Alcohol Research & Health, vol. 28, no. 4, Dec. 2004, pp. 182–190. EBSCOhost, chaffey.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/ login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=19504898&site=ehost-live.
This article has multiple pages accessing drinking patter in gender, ethnicity, employment et. These sub topics help us see the relative social drinking with many different types of people since each topic(s) can relate to everyone. Im using this source to enlighten the views of how many people drink and the responsibilities they encounter just as a teenager would also endure. Ill only use the two subtopics that I can see my reader to mostly relate. I find this source reliable coming from the Chaffey library data base.