Sound off for September 28th: Should the drinking age be lowered?
Binge drinking happens with disturbing regularity on college campuses.
Some think that college students binge in secret before going out at night because they can’t get alcohol legally till they are 21. Would lowering the drinking age solve the problem?
A new report in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs suggests it might, but researchers looking at states where the drinking age was lowered to 18 found it may have just moved the problem down an age bracket.
It was associated with 13% higher odds of dropping out of high school.
The impact was noted to be highest among women, African Americans, and Hispanics.
The researchers are quick to point out that the high school dropout rate is always affected by more than one thing, and there are many risk factors that the study could not control for: childhood experiences and socioeconomic background.
While changing the drinking age might create a healthier drinking culture in college, policymakers will have to consider younger students and whether the risk of a higher dropout rate is one we’re willing to take.
What do you think? Would it be wise to lower the drinking age?
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