Underage Drinking


HowCan we Reduce ?

Underagedrinking is a serious problem affecting many young people across theworld. This problem occurs when people below the minimum drinking ageengage in alcohol drinking. In United States, the minimum drinkingage is 21 years. Any person drinking alcohol below that age isconsidered to be engaging in underage drinking. Many young peopleexperience a lot of negative effects as a result of underagedrinking. Therefore, underage problem is one of the leading publichealth problems in America and other parts of the world. NationalInstitute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism suggests that 5,000 peoplebelow the minimum drinking age of 21 die annually as a result ofunderage drinking (NIH, 2006). This figure reduced to 4,300 deathsannually by 2013, but still remains a serious public problem. Thesedeaths include those who die in road accidents those who die due tohomicide and those who die due to suicide. Centers for DiseaseControl and Prevention (CDC) also claim that people aged between 10and 20 years are responsible for 11% of the alcohol consumed inUnited States (CDC, 2014). To make the problem even worse, underagedrinkers often drink more than adults in each occasion, and engage in90% binge drinking (CDC, 2014).

Underagedrinkers are also likely to engage in unprotected sex, becomeviolent, develop alcoholic addiction in future, and perform poorly ineducation (NIH, 2006). It also results in health problems. Alcoholdrinking affects the central nervous system, causing some bodyfunctions to slow down in their routine functions. Sometimes drinkersmay even become unconscious. Despite these consequences of theproblem, young people continue drinking alcohol illegally andexceedingly. This calls for necessary solutions to be developed tohelp young people to overcome the problem of alcohol drinking andreduce the number of deaths and other consequences associated withthe problem. Alcohol drinking among underage people can be reduced byusing preventive measures more than treatment.

Generally,everyone in the society should work with others to change the cultureof underage drinking. As a preventive measure, the community at largeshould collaborate in the fight against alcoholism (NIH, 2006).Parents, grandparents, teachers and friends have a collectiveresponsibility to help an affected victim to overcome the problem.The decisions that children make can be influenced by friends,parents, grandparents, teachers and other members of the community.The society should provide sufficient levels of control and advice toyoung children in order to enable them to develop coping skills andbecome responsible members of the community. Family institutionsshould also be strengthened by developing routine practices andembracing moral responsibility through holiday celebrations, teachingChristian and moral ethics, and advising the young people about whatthe law says on underage drinking (McCarthy, 2013). In order forchildren to take control of their lives and avoid peer influence thatleads to underage drinking, parents, teachers and other communityleaders should work together to instill moral principles and gooddecision making skills on the young people. This entails creating anenvironment that protects underage people from drinking.

Thegovernment can also play a role in solving the problem of underagedrinking by enforcing the law on the issue strictly (McCarthy, 2013).For example, underage people found drinking should be punishedseverely to serve as an example to others who plan to engage inunderage drinking. The government may also establish rehabilitationcenters for those who are into the habit of underage drinking inorder to bring them back to normal life. The government should alsoincrease its funding for the organizations advocating for no-drinkinghabits.


CDC(2014). FactSheets: Underage drinking.Accessed July 18, 2015 fromhttp://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/underage-drinking.htm

McCarthy,C. (2013). Four Ways Parents Can Prevent .HuffingtonPost.Accessed July 18, 2015 fromhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/claire-mccarthy-md/underage-drinking_b_2582113.html.

NIH(2006). UnderageDrinking: Why Do Adolescents Drink, What Are the Risks, and How Can Be Prevented?Accessed July 18, 2015 fromhttp://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/AA67/AA67.htm.