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Arguments For and Against Raising the Drinking Age

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Health
Wordcount: 1477 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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Alcoholic drinks contain dangerous substances which can cause loss of consciousness thereby affecting the reasoning of a person. Drinking alcohol is among the common problems affecting most of the youths who are 21 years and below (Roberts & Rodney 214). The rate of young people aged below 21 who are at risk of taking alcoholic drinks is alarming and increasing at a very high rate every year. There is a great need that calls on serious acts to reduce the risk associated with alcoholic drinks that affect young people’s health and their social situation that poses a significant effect to the public that leads to several problems and risks such as death, poor behaviors as well as health deterioration. However, raising the age of drinking from 18 could be a positive approach that should be taken by the relevant authorities to reduce those risks and improve the lives of young people (Roberts & Rodney 214).

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Raising the drinking age to 21 has high impacts on the individual consumer as well as the community in general (Roberts & Rodney 214). First and foremost, alcoholic liquors are very dangerous to the lives of both young and old people.  For instance, alcoholic liquor contains ethyl alcohol which is a hazardous substance profoundly affecting the reasoning and thinking the ability of a person. However, consuming alcoholic drinks interferes with the development of brain of young adults therefore making them able to suffer from severe problems like being exposed to addiction, development of poor behavior, impair judgment, unconsciousness, anger and depression, violence, and cases related to suicide and emotions of the person (Roberts & Rodney 214). Additionally, from a scientific point of view on the concepts of organs growth and development, states that a person’s brain grows to start from the age of nearly 15 to 24 years. This information clearly shows that alcoholic drinks have toxic substances that affect the growth and development of the brain among the youths who are below 21 (Roberts & Rodney 214).

Secondly, it reduces the fatality rate. In this case, increased the dose of taking alcoholic drinks can lead to an addiction that brings a condition known as alcoholism that causes death as a result of weak body immune system that cannot bear or sustain alcoholic content and also controlling the brain becomes difficult because they are still growing. The recent data analysis on the effect of alcoholism to the youths has shown that almost half of the males and females who are aged between 14 to 24 years die every year from taking alcoholic drinks (Paschall et al. 310). Also, some of the alcoholic beverages contain some toxic substances that can easily castrate young adults as young as they are. This substance includes some chemicals that destroy fertility ability of the youths at a young age of 18 to 21. These contribute primarily to the future population face of the region or country in general that can lead to reduced population increase. Increasing the minimum age to 21 can work better because it gives youths more time to interact with their adult friends above the age of 21 and absorb some significant advice from them that can direct them to get into the pool of alcoholic drinks at later age that is probably more than 21 years (Paschall et al. 310).

Another aspect that contributes to the case of increasing the drinking age to 21 is many fatal accidents that occur daily. According to Paschall et al. (310), this happens on events like accidents as a result of losing concentration from drinking alcohol. Many youths who are aged 18 and above have the ability, and they are protected by the law to access driving license, therefore, making them take it for granted and behave rudely when driving after taking alcoholic drinks. Also, it may severely affect the life of a person which may lead to increased cases of suicide among young adults (Paschall et al. 310). There are also external expenses such as social expenses incurred to the society like expenses related to healthcare to treat accidents and diseases resulting from alcoholic drinks like liver cirrhosis, cancer, and many other diseases, and also it promotes laziness among the youths which make them forget their responsibilities as young adults. This, in turn, makes hem to refuse taking work especially community work or even helping their parents from daily duties. The social expenses of alcoholism are higher than the private expenditures incurred by the individual. Taking up the proposed legal age of taking alcohol to 21 can help to reduce related personal and social expenses incurred by the society because it is more challenging to purchase and most of the young adults are depending for money or any other financial support from their parents and relatives (Williams et al. 140).

According to Williams et al. (140), even though raising the drinking age to 21 has several positive impacts, there are also some negatives that can develop within it. First of all, it denies early adults their rights to be included as adults. Some people believe that when an individual attains the age of 20 he/she can be recognized as a full adult who has powers to get into democratic acts like voting, living far from their parents, and have freedom to rule his/her life personally because they are considered to be adults and they can rely on themselves. Additionally, the issue of taking up drinking age to 21years usually prevent most of the young adults from enjoying life and doing activities that are related to adulthood. For instance, many countries have the legal drinking age of 18 as well. Also raising the legal age of drinking does not prevent young teens aged 18 to 21 from drinking (Williams et al. 140). This is because they can still find someone who can be supplying alcoholic drinks to them even if the recommended adults refuse them because they are prohibited from drinking. Also, the need for increasing drinking age to 21 can cause young adults to get in evil actions like stealing alcoholic drinks. However, raising the legal drinking age cannot help in providing solutions to the issues of drinking. Consider the case for the United States where the legal age for taking alcoholic drinks have been the age of 21, but they are still experiencing the same problems of countries that legalized age of drinking to 18 years (Williams et al. 140). Indeed, raising the period for the basis of drinking of alcoholic substances will create many social issues instead of solving the problems.

Contrary to the above-proposing points, the drinking age should not be raised. This because there will still be more underage drinking if the drinking age is raised. This can create a more disobedient generation because they will want to drink by the age of 18 despite being prohibited. If 18 year old can handle voting at the age of 18, this means that they are still able to handle drinking (Williams et al. 140).

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In conclusion ,Lifting the age of drinking to 21 among young will help in reducing their level of consuming alcoholic drinks. That being said, they will find difficulties in accessing and buying alcoholic beverages. Besides, most of the young adults misuse alcohol by consuming it in excess which causes destructions like, life cessation and issues related to health within their bodies. Generally, if people start taking alcoholic drinks at a later age in life, they are likely to drink in a presided way and avoid addiction as early as possible. Finally, this policy is not addressing the underlying problem of why young adults want to drink an alcoholic drink. For that case, education can be a better solution. Education help in explaining the dangers of drinking and therefore encouraging young people to drink in a usual way or avoiding it in their life.

Work Cited

  • Paschall, Mallie J., et al. “Availability and consumption of different alcoholic beverages and use of drinking contexts among adolescents in three Mexican cities.” Cogent Medicine5.1 (2018): 1537061.
  • Roberts, Rodney C. “The Idea of an Age of Majority.” International Journal of Applied Philosophy (2018).
  • Williams, Edwina, et al. “Changing racial/ethnic disparities in heavy drinking trajectories through young adulthood: a comparative cohort study.” Alcoholism: clinical and experimental research 42.1 (2018): 135-143.
  • Yassin, Nasser, et al. “There Is Zero Regulation on the Selling of Alcohol”: The Voice of the Youth on the Context and Determinants of Alcohol Drinking in Lebanon.” Qualitative health research 28.5 (2018): 733-744.


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