21 Years Old: Is The Bottle Worth The Wait?

Alright. So let’s just have an honest talk here.

I’m sure being in your teens, you probably could count on more than two hands of the number of people in high school who were already attending to the bottle. They may have played the alcohol games, been bold enough to take the shots, and the boldest ones may have even managed to sneak into clubs their parents probably haven’t even been able to get into. And chances would be good to say that you may have been one of those teens.

So, in all honesty, when you think back to that first drink, can you say that it prepared you for all that you know about the bottle today? Was it beneficial to you at all to take a sip earlier in life, or is the bottle truly worth the wait?

            Many may think that kids are not considered in high regards of alcohol sales because they’re under the impression that most of them are just taking sips from the cups of grownups that turn their heads for a few seconds, but some would be shocked to know that kids and teens ages 12-20 make up 11% of consumed alcohol in the United States. Not to mention the underage drinkers are consuming more drinks than the adults during drinking occasions.

            You’d be shocked to know that it doesn’t have to do so much with parents who turn their heads.  In fact, a study from Penn State says that 1 in 6 parents allow their child or children to consume alcohol by the age of 14. According to their further studies, parents who were light or moderate drinkers were just as likely as parents who are considered heavy drinkers to allow their children a few sips.

Not necessarily an emotional reason for the bottle, some who are under the age of 21 are legally within their rights allowed to consume alcohol. How you ask?

            Well, there are 11 states in America that allow children to drink for educational purposes, 16 states that allow childhood consumption of alcohol for medical reasons, and 4 states that allow alcohol for children for employment reasons. Other exceptions also include 26 states that allow religion as the exception, as well as parental, guardian, and spousal consent.

Parental consent may allow the child to consume alcohol within the confines of said guardian’s home. Religion would allow alcohol to be served to a child during a church service. Law enforcement may allow a child to drink alcohol if they are participating in a “sting” or undercover operation. As far education is concerned, students in college who are not yet 21 and participating in a culinary class or program may be given permission to consume small amounts of alcoholic ingredients or recipes. Minors who work in the food or beverage industry, such as here at Cocktail Chronicles, may be allowed to purchase alcohol on behalf of the company, but would never be given permission to drink it themselves. Certain ethnicity groups in certain locations may also be allowed the exception, such as Native Americans who live on specific reservations, who have no federal laws that specify a minimum drinking age for children.

            Of course, most parents and research have their own studies and reasons for why a child should not be allowed to drink alcohol. Many researchers are under the impression that kids drink in favor of promoting their social issues, problems at school and home, disruption of growth and development, and even unplanned or unwanted sexual activities. Parents just believe that alcohol will complicate the child’s life.

But that’s where we call into question the generational gap among young adults and their parents. How much different could the issues be for an 18-year-old that exists today than when their parents were that age? How does the bottle harm more than help the teen who is having issues, but its that “fix” the parents need after a long day of dealing with their own? What is the true difference in how someone who is 20 or 21 and how those two handle alcohol? And why wait so long to be legally-able to accept the drink as a stress reliever, when in fact just 3 years before that age, we have legal access to any other drug or narcotic? If this was truly something dangerous or harmful to the human body and psyche, if it has no true purpose to help any situation, why does it exist for anyone in the first place?