“It’s always blown my mind how American college culture is so focused on drinking, while most of the students are doing this illegally,” said Dr. Patrick Neustatter, author, retired general practitioner, and current medical director at Lloyd Moss Free Clinic. I originally contacted him to give me some insight into the medical aspect of drinking at 18 as opposed to 21 (more on that in a second), but Neustatter, a native Englishman, had a unique perspective on the issue.
“I’m not an expert in this field, of course -- but I will say that as someone who grew up in England, and has lived in America for several decades, I can say it seems like younger Europeans do have a more respectful, controlled attitude towards consuming alcohol,” he told me.
This study, however, conducted by the Prevention Research Center, contends that European teens spend more time intoxicated than Americans, which is to some, example enough that the European model of a lower drinking age would be harmful. But, the research never fully details if this intoxication leads to problems like more frequent car crashes, violent crimes, cases of alcoholism, and alcohol-related illnesses and/or deaths, which is pertinent information given that a study by the World Health Organization showed that even though Americans drink less than Europeans, we die more from alcohol-related causes.