English 9 AT/H 1
9 March 2015
Legal Drinking Age: Continuing the Legacy
Every year, nine hundred adolescents below the age of twentyone would be buried because of trafficrelated accidents as a result of a lower drinking age at eighteen
Debate”). Young adults are just beginning their lives with so much potential for the future. A lower drinking age heightens the potential for young people to destroy their future opportunities. Lately, contrasting views on changing the minimum legal drinking age to eighteen have erupted into the news. Individuals feel the current legal drinking age is outdated because eighteen yearolds receive all their rights except the right to drink. They also believe a lower drinking age would help young adults drink more responsibly and in a controlled setting. Others view the current law as a safety net to prevent the amount of deaths that are the result of alcohol use or abuse.
Changing the legal drinking age to eighteen is not an option because of the effects of alcohol on brain development, alcoholrelated problems in the future for individuals who use alcohol at a younger age, and a higher amount of fatalities on the highway.
A lower drinking age disrupts brain development in adolescents and young adults that has detrimental effects on brain functionality as a lifelong result. Researchers have come to the conclusion that excessive alcohol use can disrupt the growth of new brain cells or neurons that grow until adulthood in a process called neurogenesis
Resulting in the extended loss found in necessary regions inside the brainincluding the hippocampal function and structure in late adolescence
This evidence signifies the destruction
associated with younger alcohol use which causes more brain damage that would disturb the growth process into adulthood. In addition, the effects of alcohol use can hinder an individual's brain tissues and hurt the part of the brain that controls memories, thinking and emotions leading to perpetual changes in the brain that can require life custodial care
(Wagner 14, 42). Examples like these clearly show the consequences of alcohol altering the brain beyond repair. With the drinking age kept at twentyone, it decreases the chance for more damage to be done that is permanent. A higher drinking age protects altercations in the minds of intellectually thriving young people.
Furthermore, lowering the drinking age does not teach young people to drink more responsibly and increases the chances of young adults to have alcoholrelated problems in the future
Compared to adolescents who waited until they were twentyone to drink, a study has been conducted that noticed eighteen year olds were nearly twice as likely as twentyone year olds to engage in a physical fight and be unintentionally injured after consuming alcohol
(Kiesbye 15). This research demonstrates the fact that underage alcohol consumption has huge effects on the health and safety of an individual and community. Lowering the drinking age to eighteen causes a higher amount of potential risks for being injured. In addition, alcohol is a factor in twenty eight percent of college dropouts. By allowing the legal drinking age to eighteen, there is a possibility more young people would drop out of college
Varied individuals believe that lowering the drinking age to eighteen will teach teens to drink and act more responsibly with the use of alcohol. Statistics emphasize otherwise, as adolescents would make unwise decisions that could negatively affect their future career and lifestyle options with the ability to obtain alcohol. Naturally, a lower drinking age has no place in our society as it causes unnecessary risks for injuries and the possibility to negatively affect the consumer’s future affairs.
Most importantly, a lower drinking age