The Lower the Drinking Age, the Higher the Droupout Rate
The ever present debate of the legal drinking age is raising questions once again. Is keeping the legal age at 21 years old really preventing teenagers and adolescents from obtaining alcohol? And would lowering the age to 18 years old really have an effect? According to a new study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, the answer to both of these questions is yes.
The study looked at data on high school dropout rates in the 1970s through the mid-1980s. During this time period, many states lowered the legal drinking age to 18. Depending on the state, the dropout rates rose between four and 13 percent. And for the teenagers who already had a drinking problem, the dropout rates rose 40 percent. The study showed that Hispanics and African Americans were affected most in these rates.
Researchers hope studies like these are used today to keep the drinking age at 21. Some advocates of a lower drinking age say it will prevent binge drinking in college and will not have an academic affect on teenagers. But studies like this one show that this is not true.