Binge drinking and alcohol consumption at a young age increase the risk of becoming addicted to alcohol. Although the United States does not allow children and young adults below 21 to drink alcohol legally, many underage drinkers are still obtaining alcohol in college. When you recognize where young college students who are underage obtain alcohol, it is easier to take steps to stop the behavior.

Friends and Acquaintances

College students are not always underage to drink alcohol. Many older students are still attending college as juniors and seniors. In some cases, older students are returning to classes for a higher education or after taking a break after high school to start working.
Those older students are able to legally purchase alcohol, which can contribute to underage drinking in colleges. The older friends and acquaintances of younger students are purchasing the drinks and then giving them to younger students.


False ID Cards

Although friends and acquaintances may be willing to purchase alcohol or may offer drinks to visiting students who are not old enough to legally purchase alcohol, other students are obtaining alcohol with the help of false ID cards.
False ID cards may be used directly by the student or used by a friend who is also too young to purchase alcohol legally. The cards are made to look like a state issued ID, but may have minor differences that make it easy to spot the fake.

Unfortunately, some ID cards are not easy to spot and cashiers may not be trained to catch a false ID if it looks like the official state-issued cards.

Family Members

Family members may also contribute to underage drinking by purchasing alcohol and allowing their younger family members to drink. Families who have moved from other countries with a lower drinking age may not see alcohol as a problem or may assume that it is legal. In other cases, the family culture allows younger individuals to drink.

Even if parents are not allowing college students to drink alcohol, older siblings or cousins may be involved. When family members are providing the alcoholic beverages, the reasons behind the actions may vary.

Alcohol in College Fraternities and Sororities

Drugs at a Frat or Sorority Party

College students who are not old enough to drink are still allowed to enter into the fraternities or sororities at the school. Although every group is different and the activities that students engage in may vary, many fraternities and sororities throw parties and allow members to drink alcohol, even if they are not yet old enough to drink legally.

Shoulder Tapping

Obtaining alcohol from friends, family and acquaintances is not the only way that college students are able to purchase alcohol. Some students may also approach strangers, give them money and ask them to purchase the drinks outside of a store. Strangers may or may not purchase the alcohol, depending on their beliefs and interests.

When students ask a stranger, the process is called shoulder tapping. It means that they are obtaining alcohol with the help of complete strangers who are willing to purchase it.

If you suspect that a loved one is drinking alcohol, then the potential participants in providing the drinks may vary. Depending on the age of your loved one’s friends and their beliefs, it may be difficult to determine who is involved in encouraging underage drinking.