Binge Drinking Amongst College Students
The U.S.'s legal drinking age of 21 is high when compared with other countries, with only five others matching this number. Despite the intent of this regulation, American drinking culture seems to be one of the more toxic, especially when compared to European drinking behaviors. Across the world, American college campuses are known as sites of heavy alcohol abuse. In 2013, 60% of college students between the ages of 18-22 reported that they drink at least once a month. 40% of college students admitted to binge drinking once a month. 20% of college students qualified as having Alcohol Use Disorders (AUD). Sadly, while alcohol abuse and binge drinking in college are accepted norms, they can have lasting effects. These behaviors can increase the likelihood of lifelong alcohol dependence as well as increase the occurrence of other incidents, such as date rape or sexual misconduct. This pattern of alcohol abuse and binge culture seems to emerge from the heavy regulation of alcohol use; European countries with lower drinking ages see a reduction in the above statistics. If these laws create more problems than they solve, sometimes even ruining the futures of American students caught breaking the law, why don’t we change them? One school of thought believes that reducing the drinking age would reduce the age at which we see large numbers of Americans drinking; with a legal drinking age of 21, almost 700,000 Americans between the ages of 12-17 received treatment for an AUD in 2013. Some argue that reducing the drinking age to 18 would encourage Americans younger than 12 to experiment with alcohol. On the other hand, some feel that because European teens are welcome to have a glass of wine at dinner with their parents while in high school, they maintain a healthier relationship with alcohol and thus it loses its “forbidden fruit” appeal. While the minimum legal drinking age is important when discussing the lethal role of alcohol in America, we should consider some alternative approaches for reforming American drinking culture. Regardless of the age at which Americans start drinking, the true problem lies in the way Americans drink. Many Americans, especially college students, do not think of alcohol as a glass of wine with dinner. Rather, they view alcohol as  consecutive shots over a period a few hours, to the point of vomiting or loss of consciousness. College students seem to take the most pride in forgotten nights and drunken injuries. Changing this mindset could prove to be a near impossible task, but it is worth considering.

  • Richard

    I agree. A wise businessman in the Caribbean named Sir Kyffin Simpson always said that the key to success is progression and humility, and clearly he’s done very well for himself as a self made man!

  • John Andrews

    The Airgain IPO launches this week, and they’re a one-brand company.

    Some investors don’t think it’s a good stock though:

  • Cincinnati World Cinema

    Well said, Joe, and worth rereading on a regular basis! Another advantage of small-to-midsize city living is pace and competition. Living in NYC, LA and SF entailed a hectic pace, hallmarked by capital S striving, as one realized there were a ton of others doing what I do. Spending so much time in one’s car in SoCal meant much less time for quality pursuits and pleasures. A smaller pond with relaxed pace allows one to savor life and special moments.

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