Don’t ever binge drink-if you’re a rat

Aristotle was on to a good thing when he came up with the Golden Mean. The idea that the solution to a problem is to find the middle ground between two extremes is simple-and in most cases, accurate.

The middle ground is, perhaps, an ideal place from which to approach the subject of alcohol use. But it seems that the debate on alcohol use, especially that of underage alcohol use, often consists of people taking one of two extreme views.

There is the point of the drinkers-that they are just having fun, that they won’t always be drinkers and that it should be their choice, even if it isn’t legal by their age.

Then there is the point, belonging to anyone opposed to drinking and to lowering the legal drinking age, that drinking is very dangerous and very harmful.

Recently, The New York Times published an article about the dangers of underage drinking. This is a problem that affects every high school and college campus in the nation.

The article cited preliminary studies done on adolescent rats. The rats were given “binge doses” of alcohol, and it was found that after a while, the damage done to their brains’ growth was irreversible. The study then applied this outcome as a possibility for adolescent humans, whose brains do not finish maturing until the age of 20.

The danger of an article like this is that it will become a form of ammunition in the debate over what should be the legal drinking age, but doesn’t point out the difference between “binge drinking” and appropriate alcohol use.

It makes it seem as though any adolescent, even those in college, will damage his or her brain beyond repair and become an alcoholic by taking one drink, but that isn’t the case.

According to a study, the United States and European nations have the same rate of alcohol dependency, while in many European countries, people begin drinking at the age of 12.

The fact of the matter is that underage drinking is going to happen because all people are curious about the things they are told they can’t have.

A proper solution for adolescents, especially for those entering a college environment in which drinking will occur, would be to research and educate themselves on how to use alcohol safely.

The truth is that drinking in moderation, as opposed to taking it to an extreme with binge drinking, can be safe-just as long as it is done with safety in mind.