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Lowering Drinking Age Essay

1337 words - 5 pages

Society normally views teenagers as rebellious kids with an impulse to live new experiences. These experiences range from going to their first party to having their first alcoholic drink, and are sometimes as drastic as trying their first drug. Drinking alcoholic beverages is something that involves a lot of responsibility and can bring a plethora of negative consequences. This is the main reason why the United States has established a legal drinking age that I consider to be relatively high. With the legal drinking age being so high, while intending to avoid harmful situations, brings many repercussions that are equally as harmful.
By human nature, whatever is prohibited to us is what we want the most. Teenagers are denied drinking and consequently they turn their attention to getting what they are told they cannot. If the legal drinking age would be lowered, alcohol would no longer be as powerful when it comes to influencing other people. It does not take a lot of effort to obtain some alcohol, even if a person is not of legal drinking age. All it takes is a fake identification or asking someone of age to buy it, and as simple as that, a teenager has his beer. While the laws are preventive and make obtaining alcohol a bit harder, there are ways around the system that teenagers are very aware of.

According to a recent study from Sciencedaily.com, "Adolescents tend to increase their alcohol use the summer before entering college and during their first semester at college. This is also true of children who have been consistently monitored and emotionally supported." College is a time where teenagers are relieved from parental supervision and are even more encouraged by peer pressure to drink and try illegal substances.
Nightclubs are a very popular social setting since they were first established and are very common in every city and college town. Of course, alcoholic beverages are offered there and as a consequence, entrance is denied to those less than twenty-one years old. Most people would assume that this dismisses the opportunity for college students to illegally drink alcohol. However, this only makes it less apparent. Students are becoming increasingly involved with Greek life and attend what they call "frat parties" where beer is offered to anyone, regardless of their age.
A CBS News report with words from former Middlebury College president John McCardell stated that "It hasn't reduced or eliminated drinking. It has simply driven it underground, behind closed doors, into the most risky and least manageable of settings." College students in fraternity parties are known for getting extremely drunk, sometimes to the point of intoxication. This is partly due to the fact that drinking is something new for college students in the United States. These students are without parental supervision for probably the first time in their lives and they take extreme advantage of it. This leads to excessive consumptions of alcohol that are harmful...

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