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EveryonePersausive The forbidden fruit Everyone knows that it is illegal to consume alcohol under the age of 21. Why is 21 the magical age that makes a person intelligent and mature enough to consume alcohol? Sure, some adults abuse alcohol and some teenagers would be perfectly able to drink responsibly. Why not 18 or 35 or 40? This seemingly random number is associated with adulthood, as if the day a person turns 21 they know everything and are mature. The drinking age use to be 18 in some states.
Many parents of today s teenagers were legally allowed to drink at 18. Today s teenagers face more responsibility and are treated more like adults than their parents were. This makes the 21 restrictions seem out of date. At 18, people are considered adults. Some people say people under 21 are not mature enough to drink responsibly.
These same immature people are allowed to vote, risk their own lives in the armed forces, smoke, have sex with whomever they wish and live on their own. Yet, it is still illegal to drink. Today s legal drinking age is unrealistic. Prohibiting the sale of liquor to young adults creates an atmosphere where binge drinking and alcohol abuse become a problem, especially for the majority of college students. Banning drinking for young people makes it a tempting forbidden fruit, an emblem of rebellion against authority, and a symbol of adulthood. Teenagers look at drinking as something glamorous.
The government have tried prohibition legislation twice in the past for controlling irresponsible drinking problem. According to Wechsler, this was during National Prohibition in the 1920 s and State Prohibition in the 1850 s. These laws were finally repealed because they were unenforceable and because the reaction towards them caused other social problems. Today we are repeating history and making the same mistakes that occurred in the past.
It did not work then and it is not working now. Since the law was passed in 1987, which raised the legal age from 18 to 21, there has been a decrease in car crashes but at the same time there has been an increase in other problems related to heavy, irresponsible drinking. This movement that swept all 50 states, may actually have made the binging worse. When teens drink, they know it will probably be a while before they ll have liquor again, so they make up for it by drinking in larger quantities. According the College Health Survey 96, cutting class after drinking jumped from 9 % in 1982 to almost 12 % in 1996. Also, missing class because of a hangover rose from 26 % to 28 % and getting a lower grade went from 5 % to 7 %.
It is this consumption of large amounts that is causing so many problems among the youth of America. By setting a high drinking age, what we have inadvertently done is say that drinking is an adult activity, and that makes it especially appealing to younger people, says David Hanson. It makes it a thrill for the younger drinkers. The increased drinking age now forces colleges and universities to spend money, which is drawn from grants, government funding, tuition money, and taxes. The Combating Underage Drinking Program is just one of the many programs set aside for this cause. This program gives each state $ 360, 000 to put to programs for the prevention of underage drinking.
These states then have the power to put the money in a number of different organizations such as public universities within the state, or the police departments for increased patrolling of popular drinking spots, or even public high schools to set up programs for the younger students. These all may be helpful but if the drinking age was 18 again, this funding could be used for much more worthwhile programs, such as educational grants, scholarships, financial aid, and funding for educational departments within the college or university. With the focus on education about safe drinking instead of restriction, many problems would decrease. American teenagers, unlike European teenagers, do not learn how to drink gradually, safely, and in moderation. Though the per capita consumption of alcohol in countries like France, Spain, and Portugal is greater than in the US, the rate of alcoholism and alcohol abuse is lower.
This comes from educated and gradual drinking. Alcohol is not seen as a magic potent, there is little social pressure to drink, irresponsible behavior is not tolerated, and young people learn at home from their parents how to handle alcohol in a responsible way in Europe. If the drinking age would be lowered to 18, everyone would benefit from it. Students would drink less and their drinking environments would be safer, and the general public s tax money would be put to better use. Even though many would say that there are many benefits to the higher drinking age, but the benefits of the lower drinking age outweigh the benefits of the higher drinking age. Because the 21 -year-old drinking age is not working, they need to change the law and teach responsible drinking for those who chose to drink.
In every other aspect of society, people 18 and older are considered and treated as adults. They have all the other rights and privileges given to people 21 or older. Only one is missing, alcohol. The time has come for that to change.
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Research essay sample on Underage Drinking Irresponsible Drinking