The current generation of underage alcohol consumption has been on the rise. Further, the underage population has continuously been put to health risks associated with drinking habits. Although the government has stipulated several implications to control the drinking age, the stipulated age rise has not effectively curbed alcohol drinking among students. Currently, many drinkers have suggested that raising the drinking age to 21 years could be instrumental in mitigating the drinking habits. However, such a proposal has been insignificant. Nevertheless, there are alternative ways to fight against alcohol drinking among underage without necessarily focusing on the legal age. This paper will mainly focus on analyzing vital mechanisms and approaches that can be adopted to mitigate underage drinking.
Ways to Accomplish Underage Drinking
Firstly, a focus on the college leadership to enhance awareness and commitment could be instrumental in stimulating the fight against drinking. College leadership plays a vital role in shaping the student’s fate. Students pledge loyalty to the set rules within the college management. Arguably, increased awareness of alcohol and its harmful effects through will influence students’ perception of alcohol use. Further, the spread of awareness of harmful effects associated with alcohol use among students via stipulated rules plays a key role in the prevention of underage drinking. Additionally, national leadership plays a significant role in mainstreaming a solidly based awareness of alcohol use and its dangers.
Governance stimulates the political will and commitment expressed through inter-sectorial national policies that aim to enhance responsibility for alcohol use among the youths. The effectiveness of the policy marched with feasible action plans plays a pivotal role in instituting character change and improving individuals’ understanding of dangers associated with use. The policy aims to initiate consequences through the action plan to curb its usage. This results in the shaping of individuals’ behavior and their interaction with alcoholic substances. The well-stipulated policy with clear strategies to combat alcohol use among underage adolescents plays a significant role in reducing use and abuse.
Secondly, the health service’s response is another important way that can be adapted to achieve higher safety amongst students without actually increasing the legal drinking age. Positive health is a fundamental requirement of every individual; the services imply the ability to effectively engage in the attainment of medical treatment and highly responsive actions that promote good well-being. While health services promote desirable actions that result in positive outcomes for individual growth, they denounce engagement in harmful practices, which could result in undesirable outcomes. As part of adverse activities, alcohol usage plays a key role. Health services are tasked with informing the general public about the dangers of alcohol. Moreover, they are responsible for advocating for desirable societal responses.
As a result, health services must reach out to individuals while adequately mobilizing them to engage in positive activities and avoid the use of alcohol. To avert alcohol use, the state can adopt a health-related strategy to promote awareness of health risks associated with alcohol usage. Such will directly minimize the usage, particularly among the students, achieving the goal of fighting against alcohol use without focusing on legal age increment. Moreover, the government could strategize on adopting measures to enhance healthcare capacity and promote social welfare to create an enabling platform to deliver initiatives that aim to correct the population to avoid alcohol usage.
Additionally, community action can be adopted as a strategy and way to promote initiatives that aim to reduce alcohol usage consumption. For instance, a community is a collection of values, beliefs, and norms that direct the actions of individuals. Communities play an integral role in the correction of individual actions. While positive communal values promote desired traits, negative values aim at discouraging undesirable actions in society. Therefore, a strategy to minimize alcohol use among students through the communal approach is highly effective since it directly impacts students’ activities.
Firstly, the community can stage an empowerment program in concurrence with the government to stimulate behavior change among the youths. The interactive program will encourage conclusive participation of the students while adhering acceptable cultural values on alcohol abuse (Hurley et al. 14). Such actions will improve students’ cognitive ability to avoid alcohol, shaping their behaviors to conform to cultural values. Hence, the students’ significant objective in the fight against alcohol will have been achieved directly. Further, due to of the programs, students will divert their synergies to acceptable community activities, which will foster development and economic empowerment. A diversion of students’ minds to promoting the integral development of their community will not only benefit alcohol reduction but will induce their productivity within the community.
Nevertheless, community-based initiatives can be channeled to empower the students on the cost-related effects of alcohol, such as resulting in bankruptcy due to inability to work or excessive expenditure on alcohol. Such measures will further promote the student’s understanding of the negative cost aspects related to drinking. Similarly, the community-based initiative could mobilize the community, especially the alcohol dealers, to stop selling alcohol and tap into other income-generating activities (Ehlers et al. 21). These interventions will significantly reduce alcohol consumption hence making the fight against alcohol a success without legal age increment. Moreover, community initiatives can be strategized enforcement of the enacted anti-alcohol laws by handing over the offenders to the police for corrective actions. This community can mobilize leaders who will be tasked with monitoring underage drinkers and taking responsibility to ensure strict adherence to set alcohol policies. Such activities will largely enhance the community’s ability to reduce underage drinking. Similarly, it will positively contribute to the positive health growth among the underage within the community.
Students are mostly known as the most cunning individuals; their activeness and self-engagement in recreational activities such as parties have been rising. Students have been engaged in numerous driving offenses under the influence of alcohol. Because of their age, they have been attaining lighter consequences when arrested in the act. Student drivers should implement countermeasures to streamline and discourage their unruly actions of drinking and driving excessively. A focus on strengthening the respective countermeasures through actions such as a heavy fine or a jail term upon arrest would be instrumental in discouraging the repetition of such activities. The government can venture into communal policies, particularly strengthening drink-driving policies that enhance the countermeasures. In response to the fight against student drinking, such laws will strategically decrease cases of student alcoholism without necessarily having age implications.
Arguably, the availability of alcohol plays an instrumental role in students’ ability to drink; therefore, measures to combat full availability could immensely facilitate a reduction of usage amongst students. Alcohol availability to the public has been on the rise, and the risk of alcohol landing in the hands of students has further proved inevitable (Edwards et al. 28). As a result, several students have been exposed to alcoholic substances. Effective formulation of public health strategy that aims at regulating the viability of alcohol to the public in terms of laws and policies can significantly prevent instances of alcohol use. Regulation in terms of taxes can reduce the accessibility of alcohol to the public, preventing teens from accessing alcohol.
Effective policy considerations such as regulating several locations for alcohol sales. The establishment of social policies and promotion through various government regulations among the alcohol dealers would significantly promote decreased access to alcohol to the public and students. However, there exist cases of secondary access, especially where students gain access to alcohol through their parents and guardians. To effectively counter alcohol actions, regulatory policy should be formulated to target the availability of alcohol to minors, both the dealers and the respective parents and guardians of the students. Furthermore, by regulating the days that alcohol could be made available, the introduction of proper licensing and public health-oriented government monopolies will minimize the instances of alcohol and its presence among the students (Sargent et al. 114). Hence reducing its consumption without tempering with the legal drinking age hiking.
A pricing strategy is a mechanism at which a price is set for a given brand. A pricing strategy can reduce underage drinking since they are sensitive to price rises. For instance, a discriminative pricing strategy discourages drinkers, especially underage ones (Araya and Paraje e0205932). Additionally, it has been revealed that heavy pricing should be adopted to make alcohol access comparatively costly to the population (Gururaj et al. 370). This storage will significantly decline students’ exposure to alcohol as they find it relatively unaffordable. As a result, a reduction in harmful use of alcohol will be trained. In addition to pricing strategy, effective policy implementation should be adopted to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of pricing strategies. Considering the effectiveness of price increases, government regulation should adopt adequate measures to ensure that alcohol dealers adhere to price increment settings. Increased regulation and monitoring of the process will significantly discourage alcohol sellers from engaging in alcohol sales; such would directly limit the available amount for individual consumption. As a result, further scarce availability followed by higher prices will contribute to less consumption among students. The combination of price factor and unavailability in supply will be a positive instrument that will positively reduce underage drinking.
Finally, while alcohol forms the most commonly abused substance amongst the underage, its avoidance can be made possible without interventions on the legal age. As highlighted in major diverging ways within the paper, it is evident that all interventions require successive actions to be achieved. Further, close monitoring should be available on key alcohol prevention measures such as pricing of alcohol, regulatory practices, and community-based empowerment to ensure a reliable outcome. Therefore, for the effective realization of the positive reduction of alcohol use, active implications should be instilled in student leadership, government, and alcohol dealers. Such would improve the reduction of alcohol use amongst underage and enhance quality health and lifestyle amongst underage.
Araya, Daniel and Guillermo Paraje. “The impact of prices on alcoholic beverage consumption in Chile.” PLOS ONE, onder redactie van Rachel A. Nugent, vol. 13, nr. 10, 2018, p. e0205932. Crossref.
Gururaj, Gopalkrishna, et al. “Alcohol Consumption in India: A Rising Burden and a Fractured Response.” Drug and Alcohol Review, vol. 40, no. 3, 2020, pp. 368–84. Crossref.
Edwards, Katie M., et al. “Testing an Integrated Model of Alcohol Norms and Availability, Binge Drinking, and Teen Dating Violence.” Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, vol. 53, no. 1, 2020, pp. 27–34. Crossref.
Hurley, Erin, Timo Dietrich, and Sharyn Rundle-Thiele. “A systematic review of parent-based programs to prevent or reduce alcohol consumption in adolescents.” BMC Public Health vol. 19 no.1, 2019, p. 14.
Ehlers, Cindy L., et al. “Community awareness of outreach efforts to reduce underage drinking on California Indian reservations.” American Indian and Alaska native mental health research (Online) vol. 27 no.1, 2020, p. 21.
Sargent, James D., and Thomas F. Babor. “The Relationship between Exposure to Alcohol Marketing and Underage Drinking Is Causal.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, Supplement, no. s19, 2020, pp. 113–24. Crossref.