Should The Drinking Age Be Lowered From 21 To A Younger Age?
If you are under age 21 of course drinking is illegal, until you come of age. However ,that doesn't mean you still can't get it from a source or older adult legalized to drink. Should teenagers under the age of 21 be able to drink ? It's the most common thing you hear about or see now days is underaged drinking. Underage drinking, goes on especially at teenage parties, however this doesn't mean underaged drinking is the best thing to do. Underaged drinking can cause a higher rate in car wrecks, causing adolescents to become injured or even dying. Teens can also not know their limits with liquor yet and end of having a turn for the worst drinking illegally. In my opinion I feel the law should be kept the the same, with 21 being a responsible age to drink.
Every year underaged drinkers die from alchol use. Many underaged drinkers ignore the the policy put in place for alcohol use. These policies and laws are put in place to keep the cities and states safe. Drinking underaged is not only detrimental to your health but also very illegal. Having a large intake, can cause treacherous events to occur. There have been many different attempts to to have a law created to lower the drinking age but it never went threw due to the fact that the drinking age
should not be lowered because it causes lack in responsibility, adulthood and having poor behavior in oneself.
If the drinking law was lowered to 18, the maturity in a drinker or person would lack tremendously. Sources have been shown, and stated that the legal drinking age should stay the same, because people tend to be more responsible at 21 than they would at 18 trying to drink ( Procon.org). At the age of 21 you would have experienced more life situations and have taken on great responsibility than you would have at 18 trying to jump in the deep in and just start drinking. The supply of alcohol, including its production, marketing, and retail sale, can play a significant role in alcohol consumption and problems ( Holder, 2000). Not all store clerks or sellers are concerned about preventing minors from buying alcohol. Some teens use fake identification to buy alcohol or persuade adults to purchase it for them. Teens also are capable of evening stealing alcohol from their parents, friends or even businesses. Many studies have identified personal characteristics that may increase the likelihood that a youth will engage in underage drinking. Curious youth and young adults are more likely to drink alcohol (von Diemen et al., 2008).
One of the ways underaged drinking can come about is if a teen or child witnesses their parents or guardian drinking. Often, family issues get passed down from generation to generation. To deal with things like this it may be helpful to talk to their teens about situations like this ( Carnes, 2001). Parents and siblings can influence a youth's propensity to start drinking. For instance, studies have
shown that youth are more likely to drink alcohol when at least one of their parents has a history of alcoholism and alcohol use (King and Chassin, 2004; Essau and Hutchinson, 2008).
Research has found that family conflict is associated with increases in adolescent alcohol use (Bray et al., 2001). Teens can also pick up drinking while possibly undergoing a emotional and physical change that has affected their social and emotional development. This changes the likelihood, that young people will be in a dangerous and intense situations, when they use alcohol at a time when they're particularly vulnerable to negative drinking outcomes. Understanding the social and emotional development of adolescents can provide a better understanding of underaged drinking. If parents do not set clear behavioral expectations or monitor their children's behavior, children may be more likely to participate in underage drinking (Bonnie and O'Connell, 2004).
Young drinkers want to feel different when they drink. Some of the reasons youth drink, include to relax and lower their inhibitions in social situations, reduce stress and worries, increase courage and feelings, and also to satisfy their curiosity about the feelings that alcohol produces or feel more grown up (Johnson, 2004; Bonnie and O'Connell, 2004). Rebellious youth also drink because they don't feel they're apart of society, they don't believe that they are bound by rules and may not want success or responsibility. Additionally, youth with mental health issues, such as depression or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, may be at higher risk for substance abuse (Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 2007). Similarly, youth who face mental health problems
because of physical or sexual abuse may turn to alcohol and drugs as a solution to their trauma (Brannigan et al., 2004).
Scientists once thought that human brains reached their maximum growth in childhood; however, recent research indicates that brain development continues until about age 25 (Coalition for Juvenile Justice, 2006). Adolescents often do not realize the advice that their behavior will have and can take risk because they believe nothing bad will happen to them. Adolescents undergo many a lot of mental and physical changes before they become adults. Teens need to realize the side effects of drinking and what it's doing to them, for instance Alcohol Poisoning. Alcohol poisoning can occur when a person drinks a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time. About 50,000 people suffer from alcohol poisoning each year, and some die as a result (Alcoholism Information Web Site, n.d.). One of the most dangerous causes of alcohol poisoning is binge drinking (Mayo Clinic, 2008), or imbibing five or more drinks in a short period of time. Teenagers and college students, most of whom are first-time drinkers or inexperienced, are more likely to binge drink.
Teenagers later on in life could develop or have Alcohol- Related Mental Health Disorders. Early alcohol use has been shown to increase risk for chronic alcohol addiction and other alcohol problems in later life (Hingson, Heeren, and Winter, 2006; Masten et al., 2009). The American Psychiatric Association Established, two diagnoses of alcohol use disorders called alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence
(American Psychiatric Association, 1994). To be diagnosed with alcohol abuse, at least one of four symptoms 1 must be present within a 1-year period, and to be diagnosed with alcohol dependence, at least three of seven possible symptoms 2 must be present within a 1-year period. Adolescents also don't realize drinking can possibly lead to other drug use and heavier illegal substances. The younger a person is when he or she begins using alcohol, the more likely he or she is to use other drugs (Hingson, Heeren, and Edwards, 2008). Although many factors can affect whether youth progress to the use of other drugs and which ones they choose to use, alcohol is frequently followed by tobacco, then marijuana, and then other illicit hard drugs (Degenhardt et al., 2009; Gfroerer, Wu, and Penne, 2002; Welte and Barnes, 1985). Alcohol use can impact youth's academic performance. Underage drinkers may miss classes, fall behind in their schoolwork, earn lower grades, and perform poorly on examinations and assignments (Wechsler et al., 2002; Johnson, 2004). They may also become dropouts, failing classes, or even removed from the school.
In conclusion, Increasing the minimum age to 21 years old to be able to drink in the United States has had an exceptional positive impact on the health and safety of our youth. Unfortunately, underage drinking is still common and can have tragic consequences. Many people consider drinking alcohol to be fairly typical activity for young people and adults, and young people often find it relatively easy to obtain alcoholic beverages. We must try our hardest to encourage are youth
to wait until they come of age and be able to then consume alcoholic beverages legally and not ruin their bodies so early with alcohol or even other illegal substances.
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