Alcohol use is linked with a wide range of social and health consequences, sexual and physical assault, sexually transmitted infection, unintended pregnancy, crime, vandalism, violence, and other substances use. In the United States, drinking alcohol mostly begins during teenage hood or adolescence. In most cases, underage drinkers tend to drink on few occasions. However, when they drink they are most likely to binge drink. In recognition of the consequences and harms caused by drinking, there has been a strong need to respond and lower the minimum legal drinking age in the United States.
Description of the problem
Minimum Legal Drinking Age
According to Main (2009), the problem of underage drinking has been brewing tremendously for many years. Since 1984, the minimum legal drinking age in the United has been 21 years. For the past years, there have been periodic efforts to reduce the national minimum age of drinking. In 2008, a group of college and university presidents expressed their concerns in reducing the drinking age to 18 years. Their policy aimed to change the society especially those aged 18 to 20 years. From their point of view, reducing the minimum drinking age to 18 years would help young adults to make healthy decisions about drinking. Many would have a chance to understand the negative effects of drinking and in turn, it would have important implication for the public health and safety.
Although the legal purchase of alcohol is 21 years, it is evident that most young people under this age consume alcohol at a high rate and in an irresponsible manner. This is because, the majority of young people under the age 21 years perceive drinking as a tantalizing “forbidden fruit” and an icon of adulthood. As a result, many rebel against the authority and engage in alcoholism. Despite initiatives to prohibit alcohol use under the age of 21 years, these efforts have created severe social problems such as increase of crime and widespread of consumption patterns. Increasing the legal drinking age has increased problems in that those under age continue to drink severely that those of legal age. Lowering the drinking age to 18 would create a platform where young people understand that they are responsible of their own lives. Many would understand the negative effects of their actions and in turn, most would reject abusive drinking (Owens, Shippee & Hensel, 2008). Although excessive drinking among young adults above the age 21 years has declined for the past decades, no such decline has occurred among university and college students of the age 17-20 years. Typically, university students are more likely to engage in excessive drinking than those who do not attend college aged 21-25 years. Overall, lack of progress to reduce drinking age is a major problem in today’s society. The current drinking age of 21 years is not preventing youths from using alcohol and engaging into negative impacts of drinking. Although many people content that drinking has reduce among young adults 18-20 years, the truth of the matter is that most drink away from bars such as private parties. This explains why most college presidents have expressed their concern of students engaging into excessive drinking in unsafe environment where there less monitoring. As a result, this has increased deaths among young adults and youths as argued by Blocker (2006). A proposal for action Reducing the drinking age in the United States to 18 would be an important step in helping young adults to drink in a responsible and moderate manner. In essence, the experience of many groups and societies emphasizes that drinking problems would be reduced when young people learn