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Problems That Have Been Caused By Excessive Underage Drinking

1833 words - 8 pages

In the United States more than 88,000 deaths are caused or related to the excessive use of alcohol. 4,300 of those reported 88,000 casualties are young people under the age of twenty-one. Alcohol is the third leading cause of death among Americans. In the United States alcohol is the most popular overused drug amongst adolescents. Problems that have been caused by excessive underage drinking include but are not limited to physical assault, health problems, sexual assault, social issues, violence, misconduct and lawlessness, other substance abuse, and overdose. The Uniform Drinking Act, also referred to as the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, was syndicated by Congress under the leadership of President Ronald Reagan to prohibit youth under twenty-one from possessing, purchasing, or consuming alcohol. This law came about because of the several alcohol related fatalities involving young people under twenty-one. In 2007, the United States Surgeon General syndicated a Call to America to minimize and take precautionary measures due to the effects of underage drinking. “In the decades since the United States implemented the 1984 Uniform Drinking Act, there has been a reduction in youth alcohol use and a dramatic decrease in underage alcohol related traffic injuries and fatalities in the United States,” states Drew Saylor (p.330). It is because of these pressing matters that persons under twenty-one do not need to be allowed to consume alcohol, neither does the minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) need to be altered.
However, there are those who do not agree with the minimum legal drinking age. Presidents of over one hundred colleges and universities have signed what is known as the Amethyst Initiative since November of 2009. They contend that there should be a public debate to argue the need of lowering the MLDA from twenty-one to eighteen years old. Their objective is to get the public to concur that the minimum legal drinking age of twenty-one is not effective in preventing adolescents from using alcohol but rather causing them to binge drink instead. These presidents are requesting different methods of addressing alcohol control and the alcohol abuse that plagues college campuses and students. The Amethyst Initiative works in conjunction with a nonprofit organization known as Choose Responsibility which was founded by a former college president who too supports modifying the minimum legal drinking age and suggests a “license to drink” prerequisite be implemented. These two organizations work closely to interject that the recognized decrease in alcohol related traffic incidents since the invocation of the minimum legal drinking age was caused by improvements in vehicular safety, not because of the MLDA. They assert that adolescents in Europe where the minimum legal drinking age is lower drink more responsibly than in the United States. Despite the claims of the Amethyst Initiative adolescent alcohol use runs rapid throughout Europe. Matter-of-fact...

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