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Alcohol: From the Teen’s View

by Jacob P. | September 5th, 2011 | Teen Perspective, Teens

I have never drunk alcohol, with the exception of communion wine. As a high school sophomore, that makes me part of of a minority, not the majority. According to the Federal Government, 64% of eighth graders have consumed alcohol, 81% of sophomores have, and 92% of seniors have. This statistic presents a shocking reality about alcohol with America’s teens: the consumption of alcohol is a far more commonplace activity than many people would like to think.

What do I think of this statistic? Well, I have mixed thoughts on it. The reasons why I haven’t ever drunk is because it is illegal and I have no particular desire to drink. I see nothing special about it. In fact, drunk people can be funny, but I often find them annoying too. Especially the angry drunks.At the same time, thecurrent drinking age is debatable. I could defend either side.

The drinking age is completely intended to protect minors from consuming alcohol at a young age and injuring themselves in a variety of different ways. According to the government, increasing the age to 21 is a success, too. They say that, “Teen drinking is down. Twenty-six percent fewer high school seniors drink today than did in 1983.” This law definitely reduces teenage drinking, but it may not be as successful as it seems.

The law may also be a less efficient alternative to a commonsense option — legal drinking for all ages, such as in Europe. In theory, this allows kids to be brought up in a society where they can access alcohol with parental supervision, preventing kids from developing a “forbidden fruit” style attraction to alcohol, because they have controlled access to it. At the same time, many groups claim this, in fact, does not work.

Alcohol for teenagers is a hot topic in today’s society. Although I believe that both sides are arguable, I personally believe in the “controlled alcohol at any age” approach. But, as long as it is illegal, don’t do what you believe, do what is legal.

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