One of the biggest arguments surrounding the area of underage drinking is the legal drinking age. Some argue it should be even higher than 21, while others argue it does nothing to curb underage drinking. Among college students, some will drink no matter the law and others have no desire.
According to a State Press post there is one college that may have been unjustly identified as a party school. According to one expert who has dedicated her professional life to studying preventative use of alcohol in college students, Arizona State University has been unfairly labeled.
Linda Lederman, Dean of Social Sciences, said the majority of ASU students do not binge drink. This is good news in light of the findings of a recent study of adolescent rats conducted by the University of Washington. The findings suggest that teens who binge on alcohol at an early age have a higher risk of developing brain damage.
Lederman claimed this finding didn’t surprise her. She told the State Press, “The brain does not finish developing until sometime in the early 20s. One reason people are happy the drinking age is higher is because of that concern. We are below national norms in terms of how many students drink here,” she said.
While ASU does claim to be below the national average in terms of excess drinking, 29 percent of students still engage in high-risk behavior that involves alcohol, according to the department of Wellness and Health Promotion.
So, the question remains – does the legal drinking age impact the level of consumption among ASU students? “People will drink regardless,” said one accounting sophomore. “[They drink] because of peer pressure, trying to impress people, being stressed-out with classes or just getting carried away with their friends.”