Alcohol is a large part of American culture. All over the United States drinking is not only acceptable but a social norm from teenagers to adults. This is not only the case in the U.S., but all over the world, where some drinking ages are 18 and 19 years of age. In America specifically, alcohol has been around for centuries and is a large part of many social gatherings. Although this is the case now, in the early 1900’s during the prohibition period, all alcohol was banned and deemed illegal to possess. Even though illegal, the task was just too heavy and alcohol was too much a common practice for most Americans. As time went on the prohibition period ended and the laws were revoked, making it legal again to possess alcohol. The drinking related problems that were around during prohibition pale in comparison to the problems alcohol has caused since then.
Many people wonder if kids are drinking earlier and earlier and they feel the drinking age should be raised. On the other hand many people are against raising the drinking age, mainly those whom would be affected by this decision, Americas youth. From its affect on society, including its appeal towards young adults, to the diseases it causes, the problems of alcohol abuse are widespread and in many forms.
It is a known fact that many Americans drink alcohol on a weekly basis. Depending on the rate and volume of consumption, alcohol has many different effects on the human body. Light drinking has been proven not to be a problem, and is even considered to be healthy. A glass of Red wine once a day is known to be beneficial to the heart. It helps prevent coronary heart disease by reducing plaque deposits in the arteries surrounding the heart, preventing blood clotting, while also helping to dissolve clots that already exist (Rehm 1210). Moderate and heavy drinking is a different story though. When drinking to the point of moderate to heavy consumption, there is a greater risk for personal injury. Car accidents are not the only causes of injury when under the influence of alcohol. Many incidents of injury are directly related to alcohol consumption including violence, and accidental personal injury. This being said, drunk driving is the main cause of death associated with alcohol consumption (Rehm 1220). Researchers have found that with increased volumes of alcohol consumption one is more susceptible to many types of diseases, including mouth, throat, liver, and breast cancer, while also showing signs of liver cirrhosis and coronary heart disease (Rehm 1211-1216). With all these diseases related to alcohol, there are many mental health problems associated with drinking as well. These problems include unipolar depression, epilepsy and other neuropsychological disorders (Rehm 1216-1217). Though drinking itself seems harmless and fun, many of the diseases and problems linked to alcohol are very detrimental and long term.
Along with the negative health effects, teenagers...