Underage and away at college, parents told me to drink every now and then to make sure I don't get too stressed out


Would I be committing sin? I know it's sin to break the law, and I am only 20 years old turning 21 in 2 months however I should listen to my parents right? Of course I don't mean getting drunk or going to parties. Just sitting down relaxing, watching TV and drinking a little with a friend and then just going back to my apartment.


No, you should not listen to your parents when they are directing you to do something illegal or immoral.

You are an adult, and you obviously know better than to drink alcohol illegally.

I see no reason to drink at all, alcohol does not relieve "stress". That is actually pretty terrible advice.


Be very careful about using alcohol to “relieve stress”. That can quickly lead to reliance and alcoholism. I’ve seen it happen to people in my own family.


There are many ways to relax and relieve stress - exercise, prayer, recreation with friends. Drinking isn’t a particularly good way to do it. Since you are still not of legal drinking age (even if just for two more months), I don’t recommend at all that you begin drinking at all now.

Later, if you decide to have wine with dinner or a cold beer on a hot day, there is nothing wrong with that, but don’t consider that it will help you relieve stress any more than relaxing on the porch or having a nice dinner with family and friends would do.


The bolded is true, Alcohol is a depressant, and will not help with stress. It only appears to help with stress while you’re drunk, so the only way for your parent’s advice to work would be to be drunk 24/7, which, in retrospect, explains a lot of the people I met in college >_>

However, I disagree with the other assertion. Something being illegal does not automatically make it immoral. Alcohol consumption is a social thing, dictated by society’s norms rather than moral standard. In many countries it is perfectly acceptable for a youth to drink wine starting at age 12. As Catholics, we are called to avoid drinking in excess, or with the definite goal of becoming inebriated. If you’re only drinking a little then there’s nothing immoral about it.

However, I will say that I wouldn’t suggest it. Many people, myself included, fall into the trap of drinking because they’re no longer under their parent’s thumb, and use it as an misguided exercise in declaring their “freedom.” This lead to an evening in the hospital for me, as it has many other people. I was fortunate to not suffer any long term repercussions from it, aside from a sharp decline in my bank account each month >>. (I only drank for about two months, having lost most of my taste for alcohol as a result of that evening, I know many people who had similar experiences, but went right back to drinking '--) That said, there are numerous stories of people who start drinking when they enter college, and it becomes the only way they know to interact socially. Many people in my classes would go drinking every night…

Then, there’s also the illegality of it to consider. While it may not be immoral, it is still illegal, and getting caught doing it would likely result in jail time. Additionally, you may do something you regret (have sex with someone, hit someone with your car, etc)

All in all, I wouldn’t suggest it, the temporary enjoyment of inebriation isn’t worth the potential costs, or really the wasted time you could spend doing something more fun, and more constructive, like playing video games :stuck_out_tongue:


“Pay unto ceasar that which is Caesar’s.”
“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good”

We must obey the Law of the Land unless it directly contradicts God’s Law (including Natural Law).
To fail to do so it so sin.

Here, therefore you have a dilema. You are to honour your Father and Mother, but to obey the Law of the Land.
I would advise that you can do both. If you reach lawfull age for your state in just 2 months it will not hurt to wait those weeks before having a drink.

But remember Drinking may seem nice - but it’s benefits can be very are deceptive. if you suffer from drepression or anxiety it’s after-effects are likely to make those symptoms worse even if the temporary effects appear to give some relief.

In general however it is good to have several means of relaxation an socialisation. Alcohol serves an important social function in most western societies. - it will be good to be able to share a moderate drink with your friends once you are old enough. It will take time to learn to know your limits however so be carefull. Most of us have done things we’ve deeply regretted when under the influence.


[quote="ProdglArchitect, post:5, topic:321568"]
Something being illegal does not automatically make it immoral.


It is immoral to deliberately violate a legitimate law imposed by legitimate authority. It is not intrinsically immoral to drink alcohol under age 21, but since the State, having the rightful authority to do so, has made it illegal, it is immoral to violate the law.


Exercise releases stress far better than alcohol could ever do. In fact alcohol could make things worse and actually make other problems due to be “relaxed” under the influence of alcohol or the things you may be “talked” into by friends or other co-eds.

Why rely on alcohol at all to deal with stress or to learn to relax. I think this is a problem with society today that some rely on drugs, alcohol, sex, etc… and give the excuse that “It helps me relax.” and that’s what it is a lame excuse for something called DEALING WITH LIFE!
I say grow up and stop making excuses and relying on crutches… just DEAL WITH IT!

Sorry rant over…



Hmm, I’ll have to research that, this has never been my understanding. If I am mistaken, I’d like to know… I’ll ask my confessor about it.


Others have answered the morality of this.
On a pragmatic note, as someone who drank alcohol through college, it caused far more stress than it ever relieved - in myself and in those around me.


I gave you 2 quotes from the Bible: One from the Gospel, and one from St. Paul that deal with that. they are scritpture and therefore infallible when correctly interpreted)

Here’s what the Catechism has to say on the topic.


Very well, I retract that segment of my post. Thank you for the information.


Depends on the state law

In my state it is legal to drink underage as long as you are in the same room as your parents could be that way in your state if not then I’m not sure


Why is it illegal?:confused:

There go Americans making assumptions for the rest of the world again!:stuck_out_tongue:

Maybe the drinking age in the OP’s country is 14. Then what?

OP St. Paul himself suggested that a little wine now and again was good.

Just don’t do it by yourself. Foster a healthy social life, get plenty of exercise and rest, develop other interests and hobbies too, and keep up with your school work.:thumbsup:


The OP did say the legal age was 21 and that he is 2 months shy of that. :wink:

However, I agree with you. A little wine is good for the stomach and OK to have in a normal context - ie with dinner.

I think it is a bit odd of the OPs parents to suggest drinking to help with stress. He should maybe consider that they aren’t looking at alcohol use correctly. :whacky:


Well gosh - so he did:o

Apologies to 1ke:p


Here’s a practical way not to stress out over the current dilemma:

*]Your parents are suggesting a) to make it a point to drink? They believe strongly that is a positive good, I guess; and b) the’re saying don’t worry about being underage but as others have pointed out, underage drinking could have legal consequences. So this is iffy advice, but maybe they just haven’t thought it through. Hard to say not having met them or been in on the conversation.
*]But did they really command you to drink vs. not drink? Or were they just giving you permission/approval? What was the context of their suggestion?
*]Again, others have pointed out, it’s best not to get in the habit of thinking “stressed out = I should have a drink.” It could lead to bad consequences if carried to extremes, so best not to go down that road. Don’t be scrupulous but don’t seek out excuses to drink, if you see what I mean.
*]Finally, and here’s the heart of the matter - this is not a black-and-white question of “If I fail to drink I will be disobedient to my parents.” :eek: What you can do is, simply never get around to doing what they suggest - because either you are handling your stress well (and if so, yay for you! :slight_smile: ) or you happened to have other outlets for the stress, such as prayer, exercise, music, gaming, whatever.
Then, in retrospect, if they ask, you can just shrug and say “I guess I never thought about it that much” :shrug: or something equally noncommittal. I mean, surely your parents are not keeping a record of whether you drank and how often and how much! :ehh:And if they are, that’s . . . not normal - so that would be grounds for “disobedience.”
*]Finally, don’t let them make a big deal out of it - and if you don’t, by just being relaxed and casual about it yourself, hopefully they will take their cue from you.


You are disagreeing with an assertion I never made.

I said one is not obligated to “listen to” as in “obey” parents when they are instructing you to do something illegal or immoral.

I was referring to a general principle, not specifically to alcohol consumption nor did I assert that alcohol was immoral.


[quote="triumphguy, post:14, topic:321568"]
Why is it illegal?:confused:

There go Americans making assumptions for the rest of the world again!:p


Um, no. I did no such thing. The OP stated that the legal age is 21 where he is and he is below that.

[quote="triumphguy, post:14, topic:321568"]
Why Maybe the drinking age in the OP's country is 14. Then what?


Then the OP would not be asking the question since he is 20.


Very true, i apologize. Although I’ve also already rescinded that position, based on information that was presented to me in the topic ^^

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