Sunday, February 17, 2013

What Really Happens if Drinking Age is Lowered...

My opinion: In my high school history class, I was taught that the Prohibition actually increased the amount of drinking that occurred.  When it ended, people drank less because they lacked a purpose to do so.  Though there may be other reasons involved, too, this study is important because it reveals that binge drinking is more likely even if young people do not drink as often.  Recently, some other studies have came out saying that drinking is going down among college students, and not surprisingly, many people were commenting that lying must be going up!!  I actually think that binge drinking is already an issue at my college, even students here probably drink far less than at other schools.  So if the drinking age is lowered, will people who are already binge drinkers start even heavier binge drinking?  Could this lead to more people being seriously injured?  I know that if one drinks a lot over a long period of time, he or she might survive, but the body can only take so much alcohol at once.  Feel free to comment.

 From: http://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/24886.aspx

Lower drinking ages lead to more binge drinking

Washington University School of Medicine
By 1975, many states had lowered the minimum legal drinking age from 21 (shown in yellow) to 18 (brown) or 19 (orange).
People who grew up in states where it was legal to drink alcohol before age 21 are more likely to be binge drinkers later in life, according to a study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

The findings are available online in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.
The researchers tracked the long-term drinking behavior of more than 39,000 people who began consuming alcohol in the 1970s, when some states had legal drinking ages as low as 18.
“It wasn’t just that lower minimum drinking ages had a negative impact on people when they were young,” explains first author Andrew D. Plunk, PhD, a post-doctoral research fellow in psychiatry. “Even decades later, the ability to legally purchase alcohol before age 21 was associated with more frequent binge drinking.”
The study shows that people who lived in states with lower minimum drinking ages weren’t more likely to consume more alcohol overall or to drink more frequently than those from states where the drinking age was 21, but when they did drink, they were more likely to drink heavily.

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