Archive for the 'Drugs' Category
Agree: Lowering The Drinking Age

Agree that the drinking age in the USA should be lowered?  The drinking age of 21 is simply not working; those who are under the age of 21 are still able to acquire alcohol even though it is illegal.  Even though it appears that the increase of the drinking age caused less accidents and deaths, in reality this has just shifted the problem.  The increase in the drinking age to 21 has actually caused an increase in alcohol abuse by those under the age of 21.  Additionally, at the age of 18 an individual can do anything and is considered an adult, yet they are unable to consume alcohol.  These are the reasons that point clearly to the fact that the drinking age should be lowered.

Although the change in the alcohol laws from 18 to 21 has evidence that it resulted in fewer alcohol related traffic accidents, this has effectively moved the problem to college campuses.  Since the change in the drinking age, there has been an increase in alcohol abuse and binge drinking, largely on college campuses and especially by those under the age of 21. Additionally, at the age of 18 if an individual is considered an adult, can marry, smoke, serve in the military, and vote, then they should also be allowed to consume alcohol.  Also, the rise of the age can not directly be attributed to less alcohol related traffic incidents because other factors are in play, such as education regarding drunk driving, increased seat beat and airbag usage, and safer automobiles.  The change of the drinking age in 1984 may have solved some problems, but  it created just as many.

A lower drinking age would also encourage more responsible drinking.  By prohibiting alcohol consumption to those under the age of 21, it creates a temptation to break the rules.  Alcohol is to teenagers as the forbidden fruit is to Adam and Eve; resisting the urges of indulging one’s self can be quite challenging especially with all of the commercials that are encourage drinking.  Also, teenagers in other countries with lower drinking ages are less likely to drink to intoxication as drinking is more of a social activity.  Parents in these countries treat responsible drinking, whereas in the USA many individuals attend uncontrolled parties and learn irresponsible drinking habits which leads to alcohol abuse.  A lower drinking age would encourage responsible drinking as supported by examining habits of teenagers in other countries.

Changing the legislation regarding the age to consume alcohol would be benefical.  The increase of the drinking age arguable had no effect or simply shifted the problems.  By changing the age to 18, individuals would acquire all of their adult responsibilities at once which would be fairer.  Additionally, it would encourage parents to teach responsible drinking as opposed to teenagers increasing their chances for alcohol abuse by engaging in drinking in unfamiliar environments.  All of these facts lead to the culmination that the drinking age should be lowered.

Disagree: Lowering The Drinking Age

Disagree with the recent debate that the drinking age should be lowered?  The main reason that the drink age should not be lowered is that many lives are saved by having the age limit set to 21 as opposed to 18.  A lower drinking age would enable younger individuals to consume alcohol, which in turn would lead to more accidents and death.  On a whole it has been proven that there are less accidents with the increase of the drinking age in 1984, which said that 10% of Federal highway funds would be withheld from states if the purchase or public possession of an alcohol beverage by a person under the age of 21 was prohibited.

As a result of the implementation of this law, alcohol related traffic deaths per population has been cut in half with the greatest change in that of the 16-20 year old category.  The number of alcohol related traffic deaths was 5,244 in 1982 and has been reduced to 2,115 in 2004 largely due to the drinking age change in 1984 from 18 to 21.  Also, those who consume alcohol before the age of 15 are 4 times more likely to develop alcohol dependence and 7 times more likely to be in an alcohol related traffic accident than those who began drinking at or after the age of 21.  The facts clearly point out that a lower drinking age encourages alcoholism and is directly related to an increase in traffic accidents and deaths as a result of alcohol.

It is important that the drinking age is not lowered as this will have many negative impacts on our society.  The increase of the drinking age from 18 to 21 in 1984 had a significant and positive change.  If the drinking age is lowered back to 18, then this change will be reversed and all of the ground that has been gained will be lost.  It is vital that the drinking age be maintained at 21 because we have experienced less death and alcohol abuse as shown by the facts.