[CR] Week in Review

Happy Friday, everyone. We hope you enjoyed the live [CR] chat on Wednesday night – it was great hearing some ideas from our supporters about how we can build momentum after our appearance on 60 Minutes. Stay tuned to our newsletter for upcoming announcements of future events and chats. Here’s the latest round of stories on binge drinking and the legal drinking age from across the country:

[CR] News:

Farmington Focus, a Connecticut prevention group, will host a forum on the legal drinking age at Farmington High School next week. Dr. Cheryl Barnard of St. Joseph’s College will participate in the forum as a panelist who favors a discussion of alternatives to Legal Age 21. “Is 21 the best? Is 18 the best?” Barnard asked. “As a college administrator, and from all you hear on the news and see on Facebook and all of the other media, we know that 21 isn’t working.” Check out the details at WFSB-TV.

The debate over the legal drinking age often inspires some heated discussion, but Oglethorpe University President Lawrence Schall told Georgia’s Sunday Paper that one thing is clear: “We know that the status quo is not working.¬† I have not heard all the evidence and weighed it critically. I do know, however, that a culture of dangerous, clandestine drinking exists everywhere, and we ought to be talking about all the ways in which we can creatively make life safer for our children.”

As we mentioned earlier in the week, medical amnesty policies for college students are becoming more popular. The editors of the Rochester Post-Bulletin endorsed one for University of Minnesota-Duluth students, and the editorial board of the Bangor Daily News in Maine took a similar stance for students at the University of Maine: “At some point, most young adults learn to give up drinking to the point of inebriation and instead use alcohol responsibly. How to best foster this – as opposed to imposing a rigid age cut-off – should drive the discussion.”

In other news…

This week, we came across some interesting statistics from the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Service. Did you know that underage drinking costs South Carolina $837.5 million every year – $2,036 for each young person? Or that 70% of all high school students in South Carolina have tried alcohol? Legal Age 21 doesn’t seem to be working very well in that state.

Pennsylvania’s Gant Daily reported on the record number of students hospitalized for alcohol-related issues at Penn State’s Nittany Medical Center last year.

George¬† Lesser’s column in a mid-week edition of the Washington Times shed light on some ugly, alcohol-fueled behavior by U.S. college students and young tourists in Europe. The title of his piece doesn’t mince words: “The prettier ugly Americans: Europe’s new Vandals come from our colleges.”

Steven Heinberg of HealthDay and U.S. News and World Report summarized an upcoming study in the journal Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine on alcohol merchandising and underage binge drinking. The group of Dartmouth researchers studied young people who owned alcohol-branded gear such as hats and t-shirts and “found that having these items predicted the susceptibility to start drinking and becoming a binge drinker.” Check out the rest of the article here.

Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments.

4 Responses to “[CR] Week in Review”

  1. Edwin Says:

    Seems like I’m the only one who comments, so don’t forget to comment. The best drinking age and where the drinking age must be is 18 with a well developed alcohol education program to encorage alcohol responsibility. In addition, every university should have a medical amnesty in order to help students who may have become incapacetated while drunk. How can underage drinking cost taxpayers? Finally, the drinking must be lowered to 18, the time is now, time for haste, to encourage alcohol responsibility and recognize the age of majority.

  2. Michael Says:

    I don’t know how many people stop drinking or drink significantly less after turning 21, but it wouldn’t surprise me if that number was relatively high. Furthermore, I think if the general public found out how high that statistic is, it would probably be shocked.

  3. Jordan Says:

    Changing the drinking age to 18 will certainly be a gigantic step in the right direction but there would still be a significant underage drinking problem. I think an alcohol licensing program starting as early as 16 (when most kids start drinking) should be the goal to shoot for.

  4. Robert Says:

    The $837. 5 million price tag placed on underage drinking in South Carolina is probably down to police time. If they just lowered the drinking age to 18 they could save so much money and our young adult would be a lot safer.

    One argument that really gets my back up, that MADD always states is that if the drinking age were lowered to 18 then this would allow easier access to other high school students. The fact is that the amount of kids below the age of 18, who have drunk alcohol has stayed the same since leagal age 21. There is no evidence that the numbers went down after the law change.

    For an organization that says their argument is based on sound science why do they keep repeating this riduclous notion that more 14 and 15 years will dink if they age is dropped to 18.