This week I conducted a survey viewing the underage drinking that is apart of our school. I asked students if they have consumed alcohol in the last month, how many times, and if any of those times happend to be binge drinking which is nationally considered as five drinks or more in one night. The study was a simple random sample and each participant had to be eighteen years old to participate for sake of moving the drinking age from 18-21. After over 50 anonymous people took my survey my findings were very interesting. I found out that around 76% of people had consumed alcohol over the past month and 82% of the 76% who said they did said the binged drank one of those times. This of course could had been biased because the people who had access to the survey were people who followed me on social media and elected to take the survey, so I had to proceed with caution. Still the number was staggering in my eyes. I expected both numbers to be much lower. That means right around ¾ people in the hallways consume alcohol three years before it is legal. The hardest realization was seeing well over the majority that do drink, binge drink. The survey showed me that high school students are going to drink whether it is legal or not. It is a part of the party scene now, but the fact that there is so much binge drinking going on is dangerous. That is why students in high school need to learn about alcohol before consuming. I think if alcohol was made legal with some restrictions for eighteen year olds we would see a minor increase in teenagers drinking, but a major decrease in binge drinking. This means that of course with alcohol being legal more people would drink because it would be a normal right of passage and a way of life, but with that people eighteen years old would need to learn about the right and wrongs with drinking, decreasing the chance of dangerous drinkers because they are more aware of what is going on inside their bodies and minds. That is why I propose the idea of a drinking permit, where you would have to take a class about alcohol mandated by the state government, and if you passed the test you would receive and I.D. like card allowing you to drink at the age of eighteen. If you are able to vote and be drafted, you should be able to drink an alcoholic beverage. With this privilege come great responsibility say if were to get a dui or get alcohol poisoning you would get you card revoked. This idea allows to teenagers to do what they have always done which is drink, but drink in a way that is safer for not only the person drinking but for every around. Hopefully my survey can contribute to something bigger, because there is a drinking crisis for underaged kids and I think guidance at least should be provided for youth. The fact the we continue to allow dangerous drinking to happen and do not doing anything is sickening. Punishment in this case is not going to work. Instead of working against underaged drinkers, it is time to work with them and find a solution that fits both parties, and creates a safer tomorrow.

Research:

https://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=7&sid=12da154f-2f34-496f-89e0-7945c8453fe5%40sessionmgr4010

https://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=9&sid=12da154f-2f34-496f-89e0-7945c8453fe5%40sessionmgr4010

CC BY-SA 4.0 Underaged drinking in highschool by Colin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

1 Comment
  1. PJ 2 months ago

    Colin, I think this is a very pressing issue that needs to be brought up. I was surprised about the numbers that you had based on your survey, this article can give some more accurate non biased results if that is what you are looking for, I know that was one of your concerns, https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa37.htm. I don’t think lowering the age limit is the answer if fact I think we should get rid of it in general because age doesn’t determine maturity and that is what we are looking for. A legal age drinker in college may still binge drink while a seventeen year old may just enjoy a drink with their parents every so often. I think if we can find a way to measure maturity instead of just age, it will lower binge rates. The age limit was made because this is when the developing brain starts to finish up but everyone is different maturity levels vary by person. Can’t wait to hear more from you.

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