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Dangers Of Underage Drinking Essay

1464 words - 6 pages

Dangers of Underage DrinkingMany American teenagers drink alcohol for the first time before they graduate high school. Most see no harm in having the casual drink at a party with friends and a lot of them consider the act as "entering adulthood". Every adolescent wants to be mature, and for this reason, many are dying to drink alcohol before they are legally allowed to. Although the minimum drinking age may seem unwarranted to these teens, they are not yet responsible enough to handle the serious effects of consuming alcohol.In order to grasp a full understanding on the impacts of underage drinking, it is important to realize the facts. Every year, roughly 5,000 people under the age of 21 die from alcohol related incidences (DFAA). Of these deaths, 1,900 are caused by motor vehicle crashes, 1,600 are caused by homicides, 300 by suicides, and hundreds more due to falls, burns or other accidents (DFAA). It is obvious to see that adolescents do not just die from alcohol consumption, but from their actions while intoxicated. And plenty of them have the chance to interact with alcohol. According to results from the Monitoring The Future study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse in 2005, three fourths of 12th graders, two thirds of 10th graders, and two fifths of 8th graders have consumed alcohol (NIDA). This shows that teenagers are now drinking earlier, but on their website, the Drug-Free Action Alliance posted even more disturbing information. They said, "40% of children who start drinking before the age of 15 will become alcoholics at some point in their lives. Delaying the use of alcohol until the legal age helps avoid many of the associated problems. If the onset of drinking is delayed by 5 years, a child's risk of serious alcohol problems is cut in half." (DFAA) This proves that more serious action needs to be taken in order to prevent underage drinking.As mentioned earlier, one of the most infamous and common problems amongst underage drinking is driving under the influence. In the U.S., teens are able to obtain a license at a young age and there are not many options for mass transit. This makes it an easier choice for someone under the age of 21 to make the wrong decision and drive while intoxicated. Presently, alcohol related accidents occur far more infrequently among teenagers than adults over 21. However, experience has shown that when the drinking age was lowered in the past, these incidences escalated dramatically in the underage population. The Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) advocacy group briefly illustrates the history of the drinking age on their website. They explain that, in 1984, President Reagan signed the Uniform Drinking Age Act, which mandated all states to adopt the legal drinking age of 21. An article posted by MADD states, "Since that time, the 21 minimum drinking age law has saved about 900 lives per year as estimated by the National Traffic Highway Administration (NHTSA)." (MADD) With this information, it is...

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