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Effects Of Underage Drinking Essay

2234 words - 9 pages

Underaged drinking has become an epidemic within the United States. Starting to consume alcohol at a young age damages the brains developmental process and also leaves behind long term drinking problems for that individual. According to the case file between Heisenberg vs. the State of Missouri, the national average underaged drinking begins at fifteen years of age. Curiosity allows students under the age of twenty-one to want to experiment with toxins like alcohol. These dangerous decision then create the unsafe action to drink and drive. The government should create laws that not only reinforce the existing laws but also alter them, so than young adults are restricted. The legal drinking age of twenty-one should be increased to twenty-five because underaged drinking causes a delay in brain development, it would decrease a young adults curiosity to perform dangerous behaviors and it is also the main cause for car crashes.

Heavy drinking is more damaging to both body and brain than smaller amounts of alcohol consumed more often because extremely high blood alcohol levels are toxic to organs, severely impair sensory and cognitive functions, and encourage habit formation or addiction. A youthful brain has weaker controls that would stop a person from drinking too much. Scientists are finding clues in the brain that may help them identify the most vulnerable young people in hopes of halting problem drinking before it starts. According to psychiatry researcher Reagan R. Wetherill of the University of Pennsylvania, “the aim is to bolster brain development ‘just enough’ so that young people can ‘inhibit their own drinking behaviors before they act’”. In the study, the 21 kids who had begun heavy drinking had, in their original scan, showed less activation in 12 brain regions-including parts of the prefrontal cortex and the adjacent parietal cortex, which helps to produce planned movements than the 17 who abstained. Compared with 20 teens from families with no history of substance abuse, the brains of those in drinking families showed fewer and weaker connections between the frontal and parietal brain regions involved in planning, decision making and inhibitory control. Not only are teenagers susceptible to the temptation of alcohol, but evidence suggests that drinking may harm their brains. During the past decade pharmacology researcher Fulton Crews of the University of North Carolina has shown that a high blood alcohol level in rats, a model for human binge drinking, kills cells in the brain's frontal lobes and hippocampus, a hub for memory formation. He claims “the drinkers remembered 78 percent of the words, compared with 85 percent in the nondrinkers, while in a brain scanner, 55 nondrinkers and 40 heavy drinkers, aged 16 to 19, tried to recall shapes they had seen during their memory tasks.” The longer a teen had been drinking, the harder the brain toiled; whereas in the nondrinkers, the regions expended less energy as the teen...

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