The Pros And Cons Of Lower The Drinking Age

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The question of whether or not it would be in the best interest of the United States to lower the minimum legal drinking age has been debated for decades. Every state has the ability of establishing their individual drinking ages, and all separately have them set at 21. Within the time frame of the late 1960’s and the 1970’s, every state lowered its drinking age to 18. In July of 1982, Ronald Reagan passed the Minimum Drinking Age Act, forcing all states to maintain a minimum drinking age of 21. Each state was still allowed to set their own MLDAs, with the requirement that it must be at least 21 (Tietjen). Arguments are constantly made for both sides, people wanting to retain the current MLDA, with others wanting it to be reduced to 18. Alcohol consumption among adolescents is detrimental to their brain development and can cause severe neurological damage. In a study conducted at the University of California, neuroscientist, Susan Tapert compared the brain scans of teenagers who drank heavily with those of teenagers who did not drink. The scans of the frequent drinkers contained damaged nerve tissue, where those that did not drink did not show any signs of brain damage. She then tested each individual’s ability to retain information and think independently. The results displayed a clear difference …show more content…
The general belief is that when exposed to alcohol at a young age, people are taught to drink responsibly and are less likely to make irresponsible decisions. This is a common misconception because the amount of frequent binge drinking among teenagers in Europe is actually much greater than that of teens in the United States (Nelson). The majority of European countries also report higher percentages than the US of alcohol consumption among adolescents under the age of 13 years

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