Binge Crinking

From one generation to the next, we have seemingly continued this ridiculous
practice of "binge drinking". Sure, let's all see who can drink the
most, who passes out first, and let's not forget throwing-up? Yes, you haven't
experienced the true effects of binge drinking until you've thrown-up all over
yourself. 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 even
a baseball game. Unfortunately, college campuses across the nation are
preoccupied by this issue of alcohol abuse. Binge drinking in the U.S. is out of
control and mostly a problem that our government has produced. It is a byproduct
of legal age limits for drinking. Therefore, putting an age limit on drinking
privileges is definitely something that needs to be reevaluated. Binge drinking
is defined as "the consumption of five or more drinks in a row on at least
one occasion" (Webster's 61). In national surveys, "about a third of
high school seniors and 42 percent of college students reported at least one
occasion of binge drinking within the previous two weeks" (Thompson 35). It
also has been nationally identified that "alcohol has been related to 75
percent of campus police arrests, 80 percent of residence hall damages, 85
percent of sexual assaults, 70 percent of discipline referrals, and 50 percent
of suicide attempts" (Thompson 35). Since 1993 our problem has only
worsened. 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 not
only binged but binged frequently: they rose to 20.7% of the 14,521 students in

1997 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 way
they do drink. Students binge because they have never been taught how to drink
responsibly. College administrators are making an effort to reduce all these
statistics and get rid of this awful disease spreading through their campuses.

They have restricted drinking privileges in every way possible. "Zero
tolerance" (no alcohol) laws have been put into effect everywhere, endless
peer-counseling groups have been initiated, and let's not forget the almighty
alcohol awareness campaigns that are crowding our television stations all the
time. Think about it though. Why waste our time with all of these restrictions
when all that is needed is a change in the rules? There should be no such thing
as an underage drinker. Twenty-one is not a magic number when we all have
mysteriously grown up. In fact, I cannot recall a single twenty-one year old
that was responsible and grown up. As a result of the government's ignorance,
this age restriction has only induced binge drinking among young adults. College
presidents agree that binge drinking is the most serious problem on college
campuses today. "The percentage of college kids who were binge drinkers was
nearly uniform from freshman to senior year, even though students under
twenty-one are prohibited from purchasing alcohol" (Goldberg A8). Even with
the present alcohol regimen students still seem to find a way to acquire
intoxicating beverages. All the governments twenty-one rule is doing is flashing
a neon sign that says, "be a rebel, defy your parents, it will be
fun." This all results in ignorance, not knowing when to say when because
no one taught you. Europeans definitely have the right idea when it comes to
their children consuming alcohol. They don't say it's off limits. In fact they
drink with them starting at a very early age. With their parents supervision
they learn how to enjoy drinking rather than consuming it in irrational
quantities. This allows time to associate the effects of drinking, as well as
their tolerance levels. It helps them to see the social side of drinking, as
well as keeping it from being something that has to be kept a secret. As a
result, Europeans have a "shockingly lower rate of binge drinking among
their students" (Thompson 32). It all makes brilliant sense, when you tell
a child that they cannot do something, they are going to have the urge to do it
even more than they did before. Teaching student's today how to drink
responsibly 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 wondrous
forbidden fruit. If the government abolished our drinking age law, maybe our
problem would be better solved. Student's could feel