Everybody in the US is aware that the legal drinking age is 21 years. This is the recommended age for all the states in the US. However, according to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, more than 80% of the people in the US including high school students have access to and consume alcohol…
This article discusses whether the drinking age of alcohol in the US should be lowered from 21 to 18 years. Alcohol is made when fruits, grains or vegetables are fermented. This process uses yeast or certain types of bacteria to convert the sugars used in the foods into alcohol. This process means that alcohol is a natural product that should not raise concern on the need for its use to the people. Alcohol that is taken is absorbed in the bloodstream of the individual and thus affects the central nervous system that includes the brain, and the spinal cord. The central nervous system is important since it controls practically all body functions. At 18 years, the human brain of the teenager is still in the developing stage, which means that drinking at this stage can have severe effects in the future of the individual. Alcohol is a known depressant and at the age of 18 years, it slows the functioning of the central nervous system. At 18 years, alcohol consumed actually blocks some of the messages trying to get to the brain. This in turn changes an individual's perceptions, sentiments, movement, hallucination and hearing (Cima 2). United States recognizes 18 as the official adult age. At this age, people should be allowed to make their own decision about alcohol consumption. When an individual turns 18 years, they are allowed to receive the rights and responsibilities of an adult such as voting, smoking cigarettes, serve on adjudicators, marry or get married, sign legal contracts, can be prosecuted as grown person, and are allowed to join the military that takes into account risking an individual’s life. Lowering the recommended drinking age from 21 to 18 years would allow more people especially those between the ages of 18 to 20 years to take alcohol in a safer manner in regulated environments without supervision. When the government prohibits this age group from drinking in public places such as restaurants, bars, and other licensed locations, they will drink in unrestricted places such as fraternity houses or house parties, places where they may be exposed to binge drinking and other unsafe behaviors. Taking alcohol in fraternity houses is dangerous since people in these social places tend to engage in games such as excessive alcohol drinking games, speedy drinking of alcohol that puts persons at risk of acquiring alcohol poisoning which can be fatal (Cochran 2). Most road accidents occur during the first few years of legal drinking regardless of the drinking age. According to the traffic act of the United States and the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, the age bracket between the ages of 21-24 years had the most number of involvements in road accidents while drunk. Majority of the victims had blood alcohol concentrations of more than 0.08, comprising of more than 35%. In order to offset these traffic accident fraternities by 21%, the legal age for drinking alcohol should be lowered from the ages of 21 to 18years. Comparative research shows that countries with the recommended drinking age of 18 years have lower number of traffic accidents caused by drunken driving (The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University 1). If the recommended alcohol drinking age were lowered from 21 to 18 years, it would make consumption of alcohol less of a taboo for grownups’ that are newly joining college and the workforce. Moreover, ...
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