Lower drinking age tied to binge drinking
The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 set the legal drinking age in the U.S. at 21, but prior to that, states could set their own limits. Now research concludes that people who lived in states where the drinking age was under 21 are more likely to binge drink at least once a month, even decades later.
The study, conducted at Washington University in St. Louis, involved multiple surveys regarding the drinking behavior of 39,000 people who began consuming alcohol in the 1970s. Men who did not attend college were the most likely to have continued binge drinking, at a rate 31 percent higher than men from states that had 21 as a minimum drinking age.
Binge drinking, though, was the major difference identified by the researchers; people who grew up in states with a lower drinking age are no more likely to drink more alcohol overall or drink more frequently.