From one generation to the next, we have seemingly continued this ridiculouspractice of “binge drinking”.
Sure, let’s all see who can drink themost, who passes out first, and let’s not forget throwing-up? Yes, you haven’texperienced the true effects of binge drinking until you’ve thrown-up all overyourself. But why, why is it that today’s generation feels that this is fun?Risking your life to fit in isn’t fun. Fun is going to an amusement park or evena baseball game. Unfortunately, college campuses across the nation arepreoccupied by this issue of alcohol abuse. Binge drinking in the U.S. is out ofcontrol and mostly a problem that our government has produced.
It is a byproductof legal age limits for drinking. Therefore, putting an age limit on drinkingprivileges is definitely something that needs to be reevaluated. Binge drinkingis defined as “the consumption of five or more drinks in a row on at leastone occasion” (Webster’s 61). In national surveys, “about a third ofhigh school seniors and 42 percent of college students reported at least oneoccasion of binge drinking within the previous two weeks” (Thompson 35). Italso has been nationally identified that “alcohol has been related to 75percent of campus police arrests, 80 percent of residence hall damages, 85percent of sexual assaults, 70 percent of discipline referrals, and 50 percentof suicide attempts” (Thompson 35). Since 1993 our problem has onlyworsened. The Harvard School of Public Health’s Alcohol Study found that “among heavy drinkers, it has also found an increase in those who said they notonly binged but binged frequently: they rose to 20.7% of the 14,521 students in1997 survey from 19.
5% of more than 15,000 students in the 1993 sample”(Goldberg A8). The problem is not the age in which one should drink, but the waythey do drink. Students binge because they have never been taught how to drinkresponsibly. College administrators are making an effort to reduce all thesestatistics and get rid of this awful disease spreading through their campuses.They have restricted drinking privileges in every way possible. “Zerotolerance” (no alcohol) laws have been put into effect everywhere, endlesspeer-counseling groups have been initiated, and let’s not forget the almightyalcohol awareness campaigns that are crowding our television stations all thetime. Think about it though.
Why waste our time with all of these restrictionswhen all that is needed is a change in the rules? There should be no such thingas an underage drinker. Twenty-one is not a magic number when we all havemysteriously grown up. In fact, I cannot recall a single twenty-one year oldthat was responsible and grown up. As a result of the government’s ignorance,this age restriction has only induced binge drinking among young adults. Collegepresidents agree that binge drinking is the most serious problem on collegecampuses today. “The percentage of college kids who were binge drinkers wasnearly uniform from freshman to senior year, even though students undertwenty-one are prohibited from purchasing alcohol” (Goldberg A8).
Even withthe present alcohol regimen students still seem to find a way to acquireintoxicating beverages. All the governments twenty-one rule is doing is flashinga neon sign that says, “be a rebel, defy your parents, it will befun.” This all results in ignorance, not knowing when to say when becauseno one taught you.
Europeans definitely have the right idea when it comes totheir children consuming alcohol. They don’t say it’s off limits. In fact theydrink with them starting at a very early age. With their parents supervisionthey learn how to enjoy drinking rather than consuming it in irrationalquantities. This allows time to associate the effects of drinking, as well astheir tolerance levels.
It helps them to see the social side of drinking, aswell as keeping it from being something that has to be kept a secret. As aresult, Europeans have a “shockingly lower rate of binge drinking amongtheir students” (Thompson 32). It all makes brilliant sense, when you tella child that they cannot do something, they are going to have the urge to do iteven more than they did before. Teaching student’s today how to drinkresponsibly within their families first would definitely help a great deal.Alcohol needs to be looked at as a normal part of life instead of this wondrousforbidden fruit. If the government abolished our drinking age law, maybe ourproblem would