Changing Attitudes About Alcohol
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Changing Attitudes About Alcohol

Changing the laws and rules is a big step. Let's first start with changing how we think about controversial things and work our way up.


We have all argued about the legal age of drinking in the United States. The cliches are always the same: "If I can fight and die for my country, I can drink" and "The drinking age is lower everywhere else" and my favourite, "Germany serves alcohol to you at thirteen!". 

Those are cliches. They aren't actual arguments. They don't give anyone a reason to change anything. What about this instead: "Scaring us away from alcohol until we are 21 gives us an unhealthy relationship with drinking." Think about the kids you know whose parents drank with them. Some of them go off to take that to the extreme. Some of them are smarter about alcohol than most recent 21 year olds. There is no pattern in parents teaching kids to drink before they are 21 that will ensure we are responsible once we leave home. Exposure to drinking won't guarantee a healthy attitude about drinking. 

What if the pattern became forming a responsible and mature attitude towards alcohol before we reach that magic number? It starts with everyone around us to stop their efforts in scaring us away from drinking. 

Can we stop trying to turn alcohol into this forbidden, scary thing? Stop with signs "prohibiting" minors from stepping foot in a bar. We eat in restaurants that serve alcohol all the time - why are you so scared of us being in bars? Stop with rules about minors being in line with twenty one year olds buying alcohol. And on the flip side, you can't prove that they're buying it for underage kids. I stand in line with my dad while he buys alcohol all the time, does that mean he's going to illegally give it to me? 

The more we assume that all kids are alcoholics and want to be reckless drinkers, the more we are teaching them that that is all they can do. The second we start approaching alcohol as a normal and accepted part of life, the more likely kids will grow up to know alcohol less for it's partying purposes and more for its social purposes. (Which can sometimes be the same thing, and that's the change I'm trying to propose). We drink at parties. We drink with friends. Whether you're a freshman in college or a dad with three kids. But my generation got a little more creative and found excuses to drink. We coined terms like Wine Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, Margarita Monday. Is it really because my generation (half of us who are under the legal drinking age) are so addicted to alcohol that we need to celebrate it everyday of the week? Do we really enjoy the taste that much? 

No. I would argue that it's more about a desire to connect with people, a good excuse to hang out with a group of friends. Alcohol makes it fun, in our twisted mindset. See, all we have done here is taken the social aspects of drinking the extreme. Instead of enjoying alcohol like we should have been taught, we drink to get drunk because no one told us any better. I think part of this instinct is that for the last twenty one years of our lives, drinking has sometimes been a taboo. Something we can't think about, be around, and definitely not consume, until that we rage on our twenty-first birthday in Vegas. 

I'm not suggesting we change the drinking age. I'm not suggesting we model our alcohol laws after other countries. The US does things their way and for the most part, it works. But we can change our attitudes. We can change how we approach and talk about things without feeling guilty or ashamed. 

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less
a man and a woman sitting on the beach in front of the sunset

Whether you met your new love interest online, through mutual friends, or another way entirely, you'll definitely want to know what you're getting into. I mean, really, what's the point in entering a relationship with someone if you don't know whether or not you're compatible on a very basic level?

Consider these 21 questions to ask in the talking stage when getting to know that new guy or girl you just started talking to:

Keep Reading...Show less

Challah vs. Easter Bread: A Delicious Dilemma

Is there really such a difference in Challah bread or Easter Bread?

loaves of challah and easter bread stacked up aside each other, an abundance of food in baskets

Ever since I could remember, it was a treat to receive Easter Bread made by my grandmother. We would only have it once a year and the wait was excruciating. Now that my grandmother has gotten older, she has stopped baking a lot of her recipes that require a lot of hand usage--her traditional Italian baking means no machines. So for the past few years, I have missed enjoying my Easter Bread.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments