Should the Drinking Age Be Lowered to 18?
A very controversial argument amongst Americans is determining that the current legal drinking age which is 21 should be lowered to eighteen or not. Researching the following propaganda made me understand the dangers to the youth and people in America if the drinking age were to lower. Therefore i will argue with whoever disagrees with me that the drinking age should be lowered. I’d like to explain six reasons to why the drinking age should not be lowered beginning with the strongest reasons. First reason being is that alcohol effects the brain badly in many ways such as effecting a persons memory.
This is not good since adolecent brains dont stop growing until their mid twenties. Recent studies included “animal studies suggest that alcohol may have a greater impact on an adolescent than an adults memory and these results may be long lasting” (Makweise et al. ,1998, Pyapali et. , 1999). Not only alcohol effects ones memory but alters a persons ability to make any logical decisions. This concludes me to my second reason that people who are under the influnence are more then likely to make wrong decisions and choices.
One choice being choosing to go behind the wheel and drive. This is not only illegal but dangerous. This isn’t safe for the driver nor the others on the road. Many innocent people die in car accidents each year by the individuals who decide not to think rationally and drive under the influence. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administraion “estimated In 2010, 10,228 people died in drunk driving crashes — one every 52 minutes — and 345,000 were injured in drunk driving crashes “(Accident Analysis and Prevention).
Drunk driving is a serious issue because alcohol causse the brain to slow down acting as a depressant which causes the drivers reflexes to slow down tremendously. Another record involving drinking indicates in fatal crashes in 2010, “the highest percentage of drunk drivers was for drivers ages 21 to 24 (34%), followed by ages 25 to 34 (30%) and 35 to 44 (25%). As you can see the highest precefnt were drivers 21 to 24 and the older age groups were less at risk. Reviewing these statists one may be able to analaze and see that even drivers between 21 to 24 were high at risk. What would make a person want to lower the drinking age to 18.
Young adults at eighteen are new drivers and less expierenced then the 21 + drivers and logically would produce more fatal crashes. Thirdly another serious effect alcohol has is suicide. More than “150,000 students develop an alcohol-related health problem (Hingson et al. , 2002[->0]), and between 1. 2 and 1. 5 percent of students indicate that they tried to commit suicide within the past year due to drinking or drug use (Presley et al. , 1998[->1]). People who have any sort of mental condition such as depression, manic depressive and anxiety should not be drinking alcohol at all.
It’s simply not good for a mentally ill person. “Alcohol has been found to lower serotonin and norepinephrine levels” Meaning that by having the serotonin levels lowered it will actually make the person even more depressed and higher risk for sucide. Alcohol is also known as the new gateway drug. Marajuana once was but now alcohol has been added into this classification list. ” youth who drink drink alcohol were 50 times more then likely to use cocaine and those who smoke ciggarettes were 19x more as likely to use cocaine”(Two Dangersous Gateway Drugs, 2001).
Why should America lower the drinking age if alcohol has the potential to cause people to try drugs then those who don’t drink? That would mean more drug use and crime on the streets. Would you want to live in an enviroment like that? As I been listing all the different ways alcohol affects a person by these supporting reasons behind my concluding statement to why i believe people under 21 shouldn’t drink. I would like to share my fifth reason to support why i believe the drinking law should not be lowered.
Since alcohol and drugs effects ones decisions when under the influence they are more then likely to engage in risky sexual behavior resulting the person to take some big risk such as pregnancy, Aids/HIV, and rapes. These are only a few risks to name that may occur when under the influence. ” those who use alcohol more heavily, are more likely to engage in sexual HIV risk behavior. ” (Amaro H). With this being stated concludes the proof that alcohol has been linked to people engaging in risky sexual behavior and putting themselves at risk for HIV.
My last supporting reason why the drinking law shouldn’t be lowered is because indiviudals are more then likely to become in trouble with the law. In 2007,”over 1. 4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs which represents less than 1% of 159 million self-reported incidents of alcohol-impaired driving in U. S. each year”(). With this being stated right here supports my other reasons why the drinking age shouldn’t be lowered. Therefore by concluding my reasons reading this you may notice how drinking is connected with drugs, alcohol, crime and death.
Others argue to lower the drinking age to 18. Their reason being that one may vote at 18, buy ciggarrettes at 18, gamble at 18 and serve for their country at 18. I understand to and extent but I would argue back stating keeping the drinking age at 21 simply saves lives. “scientific evidence showing that raising the minimum drinking age in 1984 directly resulted in reduced alcohol-related crashes and fatalities among young people as well as deaths from suicide, homicide, and non-vehicle unintentional injuries” (4prevention).
Their second reason aruged to why the drinking age should be Lowered is the “MLDA 21 to 18 would allow 18- to 20-year-olds to drink alcohol safely in regulated environments with supervision”. (pro con) There is no evidence that this even works. In fact “when teens feel they have their parents’ approval to drink, they do it more and more often when they are not with their parents”(MADD). Thirdly people aruge that if the drinking age was 18 it would be less appealing to kids.
This is because they wouldn’t feel as if they are sneaking around or getting a thrill out of drinking prefer to if the drinking age was 21. Fourth reason people argue the drinking age should be lowered is “Lowering MLDA 21 would reduce the number of underage people who are hurt from alcohol-related injuries or accidents due to fear of legal consequences if they sought medical attention” ( pro con). This is not true at all by conducting the reasearch i found. ” states had lower legal drinking ages in the U. S. , the underage drinking problem was worse” (madd).