Underage Drinking Essay

691 words - 3 pages

It can be inferred that the opposing arguments published in the Washington Post by T.R. Reid and Joseph Califano in regard to teenage drinking in America and other nations of the western hemisphere are not only polar opposites, but so extreme that it does not allow for a happy median. Harsh restrictions not only discourage parents of today's American society from talking freely with teens pertaining to responsible drinking, but also chastises parents who allow teens to experiment with alcohol in a controlled setting with experienced adults. Alcohol consumption should be the decision of a well informed adult. Alcohol should not be regarded as such an unsettling topic when encounters with alcohol are inevitable and prevalent in our daily lives.
As a result of harsh restrictions placed on alcohol by our government parents are not only discouraged to inform both negative and positive attributes of alcohol, but they are also looked down upon for creating a controlled environment allowing teens to experiment in moderation as a teaching method for responsible drinking habits. With an influence such as Joseph Califano, who has certainly come across the worst case scenarios in his roles as the founder and Chairman of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, some parents feel they need to emphasize that alcohol regulations should hold no leniency thus creating a barrier between adults and teens. T.R. Reid correctly asserted that when these situations play out many teens resort to drinking in secrecy in unsafe environments and without supervision because teens will drink regardless. A combination of discussing the use of alcohol socially, consequences that may occur as a result of drinking too young or too much, and even allowing them to experience drinking under close watch teens may be apt to make better informed decisions.
The decision to consume alcohol should be left up to a well informed adult whether it be the person themselves or an adult teaching an older teen as early as 17 how to use alcohol responsibly. Statistics have shown that in...

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