This is a staff editorial from the Daily Barometer. It argues that underage drinking is not a problem.
Underage drinking is not a problem. The problem is over-consumption. This is a result of our society’s unhealthy relationship with alcohol.
Overconsumption is everywhere in today’s America. Drinking is but one of the areas where we see one of its greatest manifestations.
Other Western democracies have long had a more positive attitude toward alcohol. Many have set the drinking age at 16 or 18. Sometimes even lower or non-existent.
In those countries, parents often serve small amounts of wine or beer to their children during meals. It is legal for a child to drink with his parents almost everywhere in the US. But a majority of society often frowns upon it.
In those countries drinking is legal well before driving and other major life milestones. By the time young Europeans are allowed to drive they have been drinking for several years. This enables them to better judge its effects on judgement and general motor skills.
In the US, alcohol education demonizes drinkers. It doesn’t show that drinking can be responsible. Instead, it shows gruesome pictures and horror stories of drinking for “education.”
This only furthers a rebellious teen’s plight to rail against the norm. Why stay away from something that looks so exciting?Because of this, drinking is often a goal in itself. Binge drinking is a result.
In order to change this trend we need to educate our children about moderate drinking.
Having a couple microbrews in a social setting is appropriate. Drinking a case or downing a bottle of spirits is stupid. And it’s so whether you are 16, 26, or 46 years old.
We as a society need to drop this remnant of prohibition era puritanism. And we need to stop regarding drinking as evil.
The same way parents educate their children about safe sex, they should teach them about moderate drinking.
We need to re-evaluate our standards for what is acceptable for which age group. Why can people give their lives for their country years before they can legally have a drink?
We trust young adults to choose the leaders of our nation. But we don’t allow them to make a choice on what they can drink!
Resources: Underage Drinking is Not a Problem
Parents Giving Alcohol to Their Teens Helps Reduce Drinking Problems.
Underage Drinking Legal in Most States.
Reduce Underage Alcohol Abuse In Creative Ways: Here are Seven.
Peele, S. Addiction Proof Your Child. Potter, 2009.
Seaman, B. Binge: What Your College Student Won’t Tell You. Hoboken: Wiley, 2010
Posted by permission of the editor. Edited slightly.