Lowering the Drinking Age
In the United States today the universal age of legality then it comes to consuming alcohol is 21 years old. This arbitrary age was arrived at during the 1980’s as the age of maturity. The fact that there was no real scientific study behind this age it was just a random appointment is rarely discussed. As movements and ideas gain momentum, they are rarely questioned but lowering the drinking age or even abolishing it all together might be a good idea to make the use of alcohol less of an attraction to the youth of America.
Drinking alcohol has become a signature act of false maturity and fighting against the system. Even though all high school students are not old enough to drink, many find a way to obtain and consume alcohol to excess. In fact, it has become the purpose of an evening’s activity to get as drunk as possible. The fact that the drinking age is so high makes the act of drinking desirable to all young people. Despite the fact that alcohol ruins lives, causes illness and is physically addictive people still find the act attractive.
Alcohol producers play off this psychological factor and skew their marketing toward younger people won’t even be able to legally purchase their product because once someone becomes a user. They are a user for a lifetime. Much like the tobacco industry of thirty years ago, beer companies are looking to hook a client for life and turn them into long term consumers.
Even though the drinking age has been raised for over twenty years there has not been a reciprocal drop in the abuse of alcohol among young people. In fact, if you looked at the manner in which alcohol is being abused, it could be argued that it is more abused than ever. This will lead to more long term alcohol problems coming down the road. In countries in Europe where the drinking age is at 18 there seem to be less immature behaviors around the use of alcohol. Things like hidden parties without adult supervision can lead to cases of alcohol poisoning and even death. It stands to reason that if there were more mature decision makers involved in the consumption of alcohol there would be fewer deaths resulting from drunk driving and other immature decisions.
Lowering the drinking age would allow more people to use alcohol legally and remove the attractive taboo status that it enjoys today. By removing the veil of desirability from the use of alcohol the number of people who actually use it will be reduced and with it the number of long term health problems will be removed as well.
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Lowering The Drinking Age
The era of prohibition lasted for few days and was proofed unsuccessful mechanism to control the social practices of Americans. However, the alcohol drinking age has remained the subject matter in policymaker’s decisions and endeavors. While the legally accepted drinking age has remained fixed at twenty one in the United States of America, many nations have revised the policy to have a broader control over the sale of alcoholic beverages. Although this policy is viable in raising a healthy nation, it is not conducive to a democratic republic which teaches freedom and liberty for all its over eighteen years’ citizens and therefore, rendering the present drinking age instinctively defective.
Arguments on Drinking Age
Despite the religious and social beliefs, there are several arguments which strongly support the present drinking age in America. The main argument in support of higher legal drinking age is that it helps to reduce road accidents caused by the dunked youth. However, if road safety is really the focal concern, then it is more helpful to rise the legal driving age. Nevertheless, nations which hold both driving and drinking age at eighteen years have safer highways compared to America.
Neuroscience at least have made a reasonable argument that, keeping the legal drinking age at twenty one assists to ensure no legal drinkers in high school. This is vital because alcohol particularly at adolescence stage damages the student brain which increases the possibility of future addiction and abuse.
However, keeping legal drinking age at twenty one put the universities and colleges in the challenging situation which requires them to educate a generation of drinkers whereby half are legally allowed to take alcoholic beverages while the other half is not. This results to vast illegal alcohol consumptions in campus which is not monitored or regulated, and thus can easily result to drinking problems.
Solutions to Illegal Drinking
Therefore, the only lasting solution which can help to settle this problem of illegal drinking among the young people is lowering the legal drinking age to eighteen years and ensure proper enforcement mechanism are used. The present system that forbids American under-twenty one from purchasing and consuming alcohol is broadly flouted with hazardous consequences.
The youth should be taught how to drink responsibly before they achieve the legal drinking age set by the government. Moreover, educating these young people on the risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption is more important than keeping the drinking age at twenty one. Adults should help adolescents to change their view on risky indulge drinking as a rite of passage.