Why Drinking Age Should NOT Be Lowered
Alcohol belongs in the category of psychoactive substances one can legally buy in almost any country, according to a certain criterion. Most often, this criteria is age; in the majority of cases, it is set to 21 years. However, in a number of countries, such as Australia, China, and Russia, it is set to 18. In the United states, calls for lowering the drinking age have sounded for a rather long time; considering that alcohol can lead to unpredictable behavior and other negative social consequences, the drinking age should not be lowered.
One of the first associations that come to mind when talking about alcohol is driving. For citizens of the United States, having a car is seen as a must starting from the age when a teenager is allowed to receive a driving license. According to data provided by the organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving, in 2010, a high percentage of car accidents connected to drunk driving was observed among young people aged between 18-20 years. Respectively, if youths were officially allowed to consume alcohol from 18 years old, this index of car accidents would necessarily be much higher. Moreover, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims that since establishing the drinking age of 21 in 1975, the number of car fatalities among 18-20-year-old drivers in the United States decreased by 13%.
The medical irresponsibility of allowing teenagers to drink alcohol on a legal basis is also obvious to those who have at least a basic knowledge in biology. Consuming alcohol on a regular basis can negatively affect the development of an individual’s brain’s frontal lobes, which are responsible for emotional regulation, as well as for planning and organization. Underage individuals who consume alcohol put themselves at more risk of addiction, decreased ability of decision-making, tend to behave less responsibly, and may become violent, depressed, and even prone to suicide.
The “trickle-down effect,”...