Effects Of Lowering The Drinking Age Of 18

1476 Words 6 Pages
For the past 32 years in the United States, the minimum legal drinking age has been twenty-one years old; the drinking age in the United States should be lowered in order to protect those it prohibits. In comparison to other countries around the world, our country has the highest minimum legal age to date. According to the American Public Health Association, this topic is the most popularly studied alcohol-control policy (Nelson). Many discussions have came to pass over the years, with people debating on whether or not this age is too high; often times people argue that the age of 18 is the age of adulthood. When you turn 18 it can be seen as a rite of passage, at this age you can enlist in the army and serve for our country, and additionally …show more content…
You are given the long-awaited opportunity to enlist in the army and serve for your country, to vote, to be able to purchase cigarettes, as well as a variety of other rights and privileges. However, you are not allowed to have a glass of wine at dinner. Is turning the age of 18 truly a transition into adulthood if you are refused the opportunity to drink and enjoy alcohol like a responsible adult should? As with any controversial topic, there are some downsides to lowering the drinking age. Excessive drinking has a detrimental impact on an underdeveloped or developing brain, like those of adolescents. This counterargument is supported by an article that discusses the brains’ maturation and how its decision making continues on into the third decade of life. This solidifies the fact that the brain is still developing at both 18 and 21 years of age (Silveri). Here is a section from the same article that stresses the importance of waiting to consume alcohol:
Discouraging alcohol consumption until neurobiological adulthood is reached is important for minimizing alcohol-related disruptions in brain development and decision-making capacity, and for reducing the negative behavioral consequences associated with underage alcohol
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However, we have seen that the regulation of this minimum legal drinking age does not entirely prevent these issues from happening.
Growing up in Hong Kong, I got to experience what it was like to be a legal, alcohol consuming adult. Coming back to the United States, I have realized the major difference between a 21 and an 18-year-old. Turning 18 was the beginning of adulthood, the age everyone looked forward to becoming. However, back here in the US, I personally have to wait for this feeling again for three more years. Although 18 is the beginning of adulthood in America too, the drinking age doesn’t make this transition feel entirely complete. In Hong Kong, teenagers often have their first drink with their parents in their own homes, otherwise known as a safe environment. Since minors get exposure to alcohol consumption at such a young age, it is not as big of an “accomplishment” of becoming a legal adult once they turn 21, like it is here in America. Once coming to university, I have witnessed how common it is for students to go crazy when they get out from under the watchful eye of their parents. Parents often times do

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