Introduction and Thesis
Alcohol drinking occurs as one of the widely coveted topics that have generated an intense debate across different parts of the world. While it is true that alcohol drinking is often perceived as a recreational behaviour, it is of the essence to comprehend with the fact that I possess dire consequence. Alcohol drinking has been linked with a number of disease conditions, especially diseases that affect the liver. In the recent past, cases of liver conditions and other disease conditions that are closely aligned with alcohol drinking have sky rocketed; hence, prompting the need to have various measures aimed at addressing the same. One of the most comprehensive measures that have been developed as a means of curbing alcohol related conditions is the implementation of laws that dictate on the legal drinking age (Maisto et al. 19).
Speaking of legal drinking age, this connotes to an age at which an individual can purchase or consume beverages that are alcoholic. The enactment of laws that govern drinking age has generated varied response from various population segments. Other perceive the enactment of such laws as a positive progress towards addressing issues related with alcohol drinking such as high rate of accident and high rate of delinquent behaviours. Notably, laws that on legal drinking age do not only address age matters alone. Instead, these laws address a number of behaviours and issues such as where and when alcohol can be consumed. Legal drinking ages varies from one country to the other (Bonnie & Mary 25). This seeks to offer a succinct discussion on various issues and problems that arise from the lowering or raising of the legal drinking age. Notably, lowering or raising of the legal drinking ages raises a number of problems in the society.
Problems Resulting from Lowered Drinking Age
The United States occurs as one of the Nations that have set a very high legal drinking age. Across all the states in America, the legal drinking age is twenty one years. Opponents of this legal drinking gave often raised a wider array of concerns that such a high legal drinking age causes. The fact that the minimum legal drinking age in America is 21 years does not necessarily mean that persons of a lower age are prohibited from alcohol drinking. On the contrary, United States aged below 21 years who wish to drink may do so within their premises and with the consent of their parents. While it is true that a high drinking age may precipitate a wider array of issues that will be discussed later on, it is of the essence to note that a lower drinking age possess various problems.
One of the most comprehensive reasons as to why lowering the minimum drinking age causes problems aligns with the fact that with a lowered drinking age will allow a greater proportion of the populations to drink alcohol at environments that are not safe such as nightclubs and bars. The existence of a raised or high drinking age prevents alcohol drinking at such unsafe environments by the people that have not attained the required age. A lowered drinking age gives a “lee way” to which younger populations who fancy drinking can do it in an irresponsible manner. A close analysis of bars shows that they sell alcohol even to the obviously intoxicated patrons. With a lowered drinking age, persons who drink irresponsible will increases and this possess as a danger to the populations (Maisto et al. 61).
Another problem precipitated by a lowered drinking age aligns with the fact that it is medically irresponsible. Precisely, alcohol is not recommended for persons of a lower age. This is because alcohol causes severe implications on the frontal lobes of the brain amongst the young adults. In fact, alcohol consumption by the young adults is not recommended since it impairs the development of the brain’s frontal lobes that are tasked with the role of regulating emotions, and for organization and planning. Interference of the brain functioning caused by alcohol consumption at a lower age is potentially chronic. This is because it increases an individual’s vulnerability to depression, memory loss, suicide, risky-behaviours, violence, and addiction. This analysis offer a substantive justification on the need to raise alcohol drinking age dues to the problems arising from a lowered drinking age.
Increased occurrence of road-traffic accidents is another problem that is greatly attributed to a lowered drinking age. As previously connoted herein, persons of a lower age may not be able to drink responsibly. Empirical researches on road traffic accidents indicate that that higher legal drinking ages is associated with reduced rates of road traffic accidents. This is a substantive indicator that a lowered drinking age is associated with higher rates of road traffic accidents. Indeed lowered drinking age is problematic because it elicits the occurrence of traffic accidents. Overall, lowered drinking age is greatly associated with high incidences of accidents. Keeping alcohol away from the hand of persons of a lower age would greatly reduce incidence of alcohol-related accidents (Bonnie & Mary 9). In a nutshell, persons of a lower age may not be able to address or manage occurrences that are precipitated by alcohol intake.
Another factor that is worth noting is the fact that a lowered drinking age increases alcohol misuse rates. This is mainly arises from the fact that a lowered drinking age makes it easy for people to access alcohol. People tend to misinterpret lowered drinking age as a permission to drink alcohol irresponsibly. Such a misinterpretation is not good for the overall good of the society due to the fact that alcohol has various detrimental implications. As an example, alcohol drinking is associated with a host of disease conditions such as ulcers. Therefore, increased alcohol drinking is not good for the overall health of the society. Conclusively, alcohol misuse precipitated by a lowered drinking age possess various problems, which have been reviewed herein.
Where I Fit on this Matter
Based on a personal thought, I am of the opinion that lowered drinking does not offer any good for the society. Instead, lowered drinking age increases the occurrence of delinquent behaviours that are enhanced by alcohol drinking. Evidence from different researches point to the fact that teens involved in traffic accidents often present with high percentage of blood-alcohol. It is on this basis that I am opposed to a lowered drinking age. On a similar note, laws on minimum drinking age have proved to be essentially effective in reducing mischiefs elicited by underage drinking.
How Exchange of information can help the Community Work through the Problems and Issues Caused by a Lowered Drinking Age
Certainly, exchange of information offers an ample platform that can allow the community to walk through problems and issues caused by lowered drinking age. With adequate exchange of information the detrimental effects caused by underage drinking can reach various populations within the community. This will limit the occurrence of irresponsible drinking attributed to underage drinking, even in cases where the legal drinking age in the given community is not high.
Problem Resulting from an Increased Drinking Age
While it is true that an increased drinking age may seem to the solution to for under-age drinking, it is of the essence to note that there are certain communal problems elicited by an increased drinking age. More importantly, raising of the drinking age tends to create the notion that drinking is something forbidden. As such, people develop a thrill and passion towards drinking just because of the mere fact that it is forbidden. Many at times, people develop tend to develop the notion that something forbidden is desirable. Notably, alcohol drinking is often seen as a symbol of independence and maturity. Therefore, raising the drinking age tends to make people to develop the urge of drinking. In the long run, people tend to abuse alcohol just because of the fact that its intake has been restricted by a raised drinking age (Bonnie & Mary 81). Deductively, a raised drinking age possess as an issue or problem in the society because it makes people want to drink just to proof a point.
As previously mentioned herein, the legal drinking age in the United States is twenty one years. Evidently, this is perhaps the highest legal drinking age in the entire world. This occurs as a problem because such a high legal drinking age tends to criminalize drinking by a significant proportion of the populations who are legally and socially adults. Notably, 18 years is the primary age that one is perceived as an adult. Therefore, raising the drinking age higher, makes people question whether adulthood has a different meaning. This has various unintended consequences in that it drives people to drink in secluded places, which are not safe. Safety of the society is an important factors that should be guaranteed in any community. Raising of the legal drinking age tends to victimize people and drive them to drink in hideouts, where their safety is endangered. This analysis depicts the manner in which a high drinking age evolves as a serious societal problem.
Another reason as to why a raised drinking age causes problems in the society aligns with the fact that it drives people to drink in unsupervised environments. Such environments are dangerous to the society in that it tends to encourage excessive drinking of alcohol. Notably, when people struggle to access alcohol, the do not drink moderately. Instead, they drink in large amounts with the notion that perhaps that is their only chance of getting alcohol. Certainly, such drinking behaviours elicited by a raised drinking age are not admirable and not good for the society (Mailto et al. 29).
On another note, high or raised legal drinking age tends to infringe on the democratic rights of the societal members. This is because people in any given society have the democratic right to determine what is right and wrong for them. However, laws on the minimum drinking age are often reached without consulting the societal members. In a nutshell, raised drinking age is a problem because it tends to impose something on societal members, which may not be what the societal members want. Raising the legal drinking age emulates dictatorship, which is not any good for the society.
Where I Fit
While it is true that I advocate for the need to raise the minimum legal drinking age, I am of the notion that alcohol drinking is something that persons who have reached adulthood should be allowed to decide for themselves. At the age of 18, which is the definite age of adulthood, adults have the right to make their own decisions on various matters, including matters on alcohol drinking. For this reason, a raised legal drinking age infringes on the right of adults to make decisions on matters regarding their lives. As such, I propose that persons who have reached adulthood should be allowed to drink in supervised environments where safe drinking is guaranteed (Bonnie & Mary 29). This would solve the problem of unsafe drinking, which occurs in cases whereby people are forced to drink secretly in environments that re dangerous. My position on this issues allows aligns with various notions that have been developed with regards to alcohol drinking and accidents. While it is true that alcohol drinking increases the occurrence of accidents, raising the legal drinking age does not guarantee a reduction in road traffic accidents. Therefore, road traffic fatalities resulting from drunk driving should not be used to determine the legal drinking age since the main factor that precipitate such accidents is alcohol effects.
How Exchange of information can help the Community Work through the Problems and Issues Caused by a Raised Drinking Age
Deductively, exchange of information would play an important roles in helping the community work through problems caused by raised minimum drinking age. Precisely, exchange of information would help elucidate on the reasons for the raising of the minimum drinking age. Through such exchange of information people would develop a positive reception on the reasons precipitating the need to increase the minimum drinking age (Individualism, Collectivism, High and Low Context).
Bonnie, Richard J, and Mary E. O'Connell. Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2004. Print.
Individualism, Collectivism, High and Low Context. Retrieved From: http://www.slideshare.net/uncstaff/individualism-collectivism-high-and-low-context
Maisto, Stephen A, Mark Galizio, and Gerard J. Connors. Drug Use and Abuse. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2011. Print.