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To Lower Or Not To Lower The Legal Drinking Age To 18, That Is The Question

1111 words - 4 pages

Every year thousands of young adults attend college with the hope of expanding their career opportunities, but are these young adults doing more than studying and homework? A new study suggests that binge drinking is on the rise among college students (Eisenberg n.p.). With an increase of alcohol consumption by underage drinkers, it only seems logical to lower the drinking age to prevent binge drinking, however there are far more consequences to be seen. Lowering the drinking age to 18 will not solve the binge drinking problem among college students but will cause more problems. In this paper I will explain the reason why lowering the drinking age will not stop binge drinking and the adverse effects this could have.
Students who begin drinking in college are young and inexperienced; therefore, lowering the drinking age will make them more susceptible to binge drinking (Alcantara). Inexperienced drinkers tend to drink more than experienced drinkers because they are unaware of the consequences. Young drinkers are immature and irresponsible and willing to push their limit when drinking alcohol. Recent brain research proves that the still-developing teenage brain[18 years old] is more susceptible to damage from alcohol (State Legislatures n.p.).” Drinking alcohol at any age can cause major damage to the body and accidents; however, the probability of damage or an accident increases in underage drinkers. Drinking while young, can impair learning and memory (State Legislator n.p.). The brain is not the only organ damaged by alcohol. Cirrhosis of liver would increase in population because of alcohol consumption at an early age ( Alcantara 468). “An average of 11 American teens die each day from Alcohol related crashes” (Vaos 464) 1.). “Since Congress passed the Uniform Drinking Age Act in 1984, traffic fatalities involving drivers aged 18 to 20 have been cut by 13 percent.”(State Legislatures n.p.)Along with vehicle fatalities, teen pregnancy and assaults increase because of underage consumption. “Underage drinking leads to increased teen pregnancy, violent crime, sexual assault… Among college students, it leads to 1,700 deaths, 500,000 injuries, 600,000 physical assaults, and 70,000 sexual assaults each year” (Vaos 464). Because drinking affects the mind, suicide among young adults would increase ( Alcantara 468).
Lowering the drinking age will increase peer pressure to consume more alcohol and lead to binge drinking. College provides the perfect environment for peer pressure. Often times having fun at college means alcohol will be involved. It can be hard not to fall in that trap of wanting to fit in when your roommate and buddies are drinking. “Peer effects on binge drinking are robust, regardless of gender and prior drinking” (Eisenberg n.p.). Peer pressure can not only affect 18 year old college students but younger students as well. Peer pressure may lead to the selling of alcohol to students younger than 18. 18 year olds could very...

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