Underage drinking

Essay by sgee13University, Bachelor'sA+, April 2005

download word file, 2 pages 3.0

A recent study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health on the drinking habits of college students found that 44 percent of students in 1999 were binge drinkers. The study defined a binge drinker as a male who consumes five drinks or a female who consumes four drinks in a row at least once in a two-week period. The study involved over 14,000 students from 119 universities. It also found that 19 percent of college students refrained from drinking alcohol last year. That still leaves 80 percent of college students have been known to binge drink while underage. As overwhelming as these numbers are, new findings indicate that the use and abuse of alcohol starts years before youths enter college. The main public policy involved is the legal drinking age and the consequences that are given to underage drinkers. There needs to be something changed about the policy that deals with the health of our youth and the underage drinking problem that is affecting them.

According to the American Medical Association, over 10 million individuals under the legal drinking age of 21 regularly consume alcohol, and that the average male tries alcohol at age 11. Demanding that parents, as legal guardians, must stop their underage children from drinking alcoholic beverages, numerous states have passed "social host" and "adult responsibility" laws, which hold parents and adults responsible for the actions of supervised minors. Still other states and jurisdictions have gone further. If convicted under Minnesota's Zero Adult Providers law, adults and parents can be fined, jailed and sued for damages. The city of Albuquerque, N.M. is tougher still, allowing the authorities to seize the homes of underage drinkers from their parents if the property is used for the illegal consumption of alcohol.

Considering much alcohol abuse and binge drinking...