CADCA recently published an article, based on a New York Times story, reporting on a new study that will soon be released by the University of Missouri, about 21st birthday binge drinking. The CADCA article refers to this as “power hour” and two different New York Times articles call it “21 at 21” or “21 for 21.” This refers to the indoctrination process of drinking 21 shots on your 21st birthday. According to Urbandictionary.com, “power hour” also has another connotation, which is drinking one shot of beer every minute for an hour, typically to music where each track is one minute long so that the participants know when it’s time to take the next shot.
The University of Missouri study, which was based on information provided by 2,518 students, found that, of those students who reported drinking alcohol to celebrate their 21st birthdays, 34 percent of the men and 24 percent of the women consumed 21 or more drinks. Over one-third and almost one-quarter of all students in the study indulged in something that I have to believe most people, even 21-year-old, recognize as risky behavior! We have all read human interest articles or heard on the news about a child dying on his or her 21st birthday because he or she drank too much. So why does the behavior continue? Is it lack of awareness and education? The availability of alcohol? Not enough regulation by bartenders? The challenge of seeing if you can actually do it? Whatever the reason, the researchers at University of Missouri have shown us that an alarming number of young adults continue to engage in this wild and crazy behavior.