Some people question why it is that an 18-year-old can legally vote, buy cigarettes and join the military but cannot purchase alcohol. They also argue that even if people aren't 21, chances are they can still get alcohol through other means. In response to people who advocate lowering the drinking age, Rabbi Shmuley says teens are too irresponsible to make good choices about alcohol at 18 years old.
On college campuses around the country, people celebrate football games, birthdays and fraternity parties with alcohol, and it's shameful that American universities have not addressed this issue, Rabbi Shmuley says. "In college, students are often not drinking socially," Rabbi Shmuley says. "They're often drinking with the single goal of getting trashed. It's not a desire to relax with friends—they're drinking to get drunk." Serious problems, such as poor grades in school, alcohol addiction, social anxiety and drunken sex, can develop when college students drink too much and don't practice moderation, Rabbi Shmuley says.
Rabbi Shmuley says parents must tell their children at a young age that it's not cool to go overboard—it's actually extremely dangerous and immature. "If they're too young to drink, they're too young to drink—that's the law," he says. "Give them a talk about real maturity and how real adults drink in moderation and only when they're 21 or older."
"Many college students believe that attending college is about drinking yourself to a place where no man has gone before. Alcohol can sometimes be used to take the edge off a stressful day and to enjoy a comfortable evening with a partner or friend, but [it] should never be abused or misused to escape things."