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Teenagers And Alcohol Essay

1896 words - 8 pages

What do many teens hope to become? Adults; teens want to be seen as respected adults and have the same privileges as adults. One privilege that teens don’t have is to be allowed to drink at the age of eighteen. Before an experienced adult would answer this question of whether or not teens should be allowed to drink, they need to ask themselves – should eighteen-year olds drink? Some people say yes because teenagers are responsible for their actions and should be able to have a little more leniency. Others say no, because teenagers are more likely to get into trouble with alcohol use and possible accidents due to drinking and driving. However a person looks at this argument, teenagers should be able to make their own decisions in life and learn from their mistakes.
People generally know that teenagers will find many ways to get alcohol. Teenagers find way to push the law requiring them to be twenty-one to purchase and consume alcohol underground or go around the law to get what they want. Teenagers use alcohol for reasons including stress and depression, a need to rebel, and social pressure. Psychologists, sociologists, and even ordinary citizens often wonder what effects alcohol has on the brain, whether drinking has a significant impact on crime and punishment, and why teenagers drink in the first place. A strong debate exists as to whether the legal drinking age should be lowered from twenty-one to eighteen. Some believe that the lowering of the drinking age would curb binge drinking; those people also believe that lowering the age will help prevent problems that arise with peer pressure and allow young adults to express their maturity. If people were to ask themselves what eighteen-year olds get when they reach the responsible adult age, they have the right to vote, marry, sign contracts, take on loans, join the military, yet they aren’t allowed to drink. Honestly, eighteen-year olds have nearly all of the responsibilities that every other adult has except being allowed to drink. What’s the harm with giving them one more responsibility? A popular saying in support of this new point is “Old enough to fight, old enough to drink…Yet we face the absurd phenomenon of colleges encouraging students to go into six-figure debt—which can’t be discharged in bankruptcy—but forbidding them to drink on campus because they’re deemed insufficiently mature to appreciate the risks” (Reynolds 1). Others argue that the age should not be lowered because binge drinking would skyrocket and cause more defects and health issues in teenagers; many also believe that drinking is directly linked to irresponsibility and unhealthy behaviors in teenagers.
Teenagers often use alcohol as a coping mechanism without realizing its harmful effects. Alcohol causes impairments that can last for long time periods depending on how much a person drinks at once. The human brain is not fully formed until around the mid-twenties. This information means that teenagers are not able to...

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