Binge Drinking Deaths Increasing

A new Associated Press study, announced yesterday, has revealed that 157 college-age people (aged 18 to 23) drank themselves to death between 1999 and 2005, and that the number of alcohol-poisoning deaths per year rose from 18 in 1999 to 35 in 2005.  Interestingly, 83 of the people who died were under the legal drinking age of 21. 

Additional analysis revealed that college students are more likely to die from binge drinking-related alcohol poisoning than non-college students, and that freshmen are most at risk during their first semester at college.  With the legal drinking age set at 21, people (especially underage drinkers) are dying from binge drinking, and the number of deaths is continuing to climb due to the common mentality of “if you’re under 21 and someone’s got alcohol, you’ve got to drink it, because you never know when somebody’s going to have it again.”   

Some colleges have begun to adopt programs to educate students about responsible drinking—an important first step that will hopefully have some good consequences in the future.  Regardless, this new study really points out a vital question:  Is 21 working?

3 Responses to “Binge Drinking Deaths Increasing”

  1. Sweva Says:

    Lowering the drinking age to 19 seems to make the most sense to me…that way you exclude the high school students, and take away the thrill of the chase for the college students. If you take away the thrill, you deflate the balloon and minimize legalities. A major component that should also be added is drug and alcohol awareness, as some kind of wellness education, for college freshmen.

  2. Publius Co Says:

    So the stats say binge drinking is on the increase? Might be true, might not. Remember this quote “Those who fail to learn from history are condemmened to repeat it”. Lowering the drinking age is just adding fuel to a fire already raging out of control. Look at the study in Time magazine about the French lowering their drinking age and how binge drinking has now INCREASED, nearly doubled. Let’s continue adding fuel to this fire, scientific studies now show the adult brain is not fully formed in most people until age 25, let’s add more alcohol to that problem and see what we get. There are over 40 scientific, professional studies done that say deaths increase in young people in the age range from 18 to 26 as a direct result of lowering the drinking age. Do we ignore all these facts only to let countless innocent bright lives to be lost AGAIN by lowering the drinking age to 18 and repeat what we already know has happened in the past EVEN IF we try to educate young adults to drink more responsibly in the past and this has bee proven not work?

  3. Ajax the Great Says:

    First of all, Publius, France did NOT lower their drinking age at all–in fact they recently raised it from 16 to 18. As for failing to learn from history, you might want to dust off the old history books about the period from 1920-1933 if you know what I mean. There are plenty of studies that debunk the claim of the 21 drinking age saving lives, and I discuss several of them on my blog, Twenty-One Debunked. As for brain development, you can’t have it both ways. Either 18-24 year olds are full adults or they’re not. And even newer studies find that brain development continues until 39 and even beyond, should we then make the drinking age 40? Come on.

    It’s not 1984 anymore. If you’re not part of the future, get out of the way.