Each year, there is talk as to whether underage is that big of deal and if the drinking age should be lowered, raised, or just remain the same. I feel as if underage drinking is not okay and many unnecessary deaths are caused each year because of teens engaging in underage drinking. If anything, raising the drinking age to twenty five years of age would help ensure less deaths due to drunk driving or DUI’s.
Therefore, laws against underage drinking should still be enforced and the drinking age should be raised in order to prevent more death or any other negative effects associated with underage drinking. Now, there are many reports of deaths due to underage drinking. Every year, teens drinking alcohol kills over 6,000 of them, which is more than all illegal drugs deaths combined. Studies have shown that teens get drunk twice as fast and have a harder time than most adults when it comes to knowing when they have had enough to drink.
It has also been show that underage drinking has led to unplanned, unprotected sex which many of those have led to pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (MAAD 2011). It has also been shown that the younger the teenagers are, the more likely that they will engage in substance use and end up with an alcoholic abuse problem. Now, alcoholic not only affects teenage lives, but also their education. Two-thirds of teens with most A’s on their report cards have been shown to be non drinkers and those teen students who are known to be drinkers reported having mostly D’s and F’s on their report cards.
Also, those students who have been shown to have started drinking by the seventh have more academic problems, substance use, and delinquent behavior in both middle school and high school compared to those teens that do not drink alcohol (MAAD 2011). Now, we know that driving under the influence is dangerous not only for teens but for adults as well. However, teens are twice more likely than adults to be involved in a fatal crash that involved drinking and driving than drivers who are twenty one years old or older.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, each year about “5,000 youths under the age of twenty one die from motor vehicle crashes, other unintentional injuries, homicides and suicides that involve underage drinking” (Caron Treatment Center 2012). Now, leaving the drinking age as is is a better idea than lowering it. More than 25,000 lives a year are saved due to the minimum drinking age of twenty one (MAAD 2011).It has been shown that the average adult’s brain is not yet developed all the way even at the age of twenty one. AMA (Australian Medical Association) president, Dr. Steve Hambleton, said that the human brain is still developing until the age of twenty five and that exposing the brain to alcohol early can change a person’s addictive potential (NT News 2012).
That is why the legal drinking age should be raised to twenty five years of age to help ensure teens and young adults live up to their full potential.Many people have different views when it comes what the legal age should be for drinking alcoholic beverages. People may think that it is okay for teens to drink alcoholic beverages. However, lowering the legal age or leaving it as is should not be based on opinions or views of what people want it to be.
It should be based off of facts and studies like the ones mentioned above which show that raising the legal drinking age is the best thing for teens and young adults who want to continue living a safe and healthy life.