Social Issues: The Drinking Age Limit

Words: 1129
Topic: Sociology

Persuasive essay

In the majority of countries, the minimum age limit required for one to consume alcohol is 18 years (International Center for Alcohol Policies 2). Only a few countries have set the drinking age limits of 16 years and 21 years (International Center for Alcohol Policies 2). In recent times, the problems associated with overconsumption of alcohol have immensely contributed to socioeconomic problems in the society.

From a logical point of view, the reason for setting a drinking age limit is to ensure that one consumes alcohol responsibly, and is liable for any harm associated with the same. However, this responsibility has been disregarded over the years as minors and youth aged above 18 years overindulge in alcohol abuse.

The need to implement stringed measures in curbing alcohol problem requires revision of the drinking age limit. Therefore, the minimum drinking age should be increased to 25 years.

Scientific reasons

From scientific studies, it is evident that the brain develops fully at the age of 25. On the other hand, alcohol has been scientifically proven to have an adverse effect on the brain’s development. The harm caused by alcohol to adolescents’ brain is more than that of older adults. From this perspective, youths under the age of 25 years are unable to make reasonable decisions once they consume alcohol.

Due to the consumption of alcohol during the early years, medics have identified the lack of reproduction among females. A prolonged consumption of alcohol from adolescence to adulthood causes liver and brain damage. Thousands of youths die every year due to psychological related problems that are facilitated by binge-drinking and other drugs.

Government’s responsibility

It is the government’s responsibility to protect citizens from harm. Alcohol related disasters like road accidents and social ills such as homicide and crime can be prevented by increasing the drinking age limit from 18 or 21 to 25.

At least, 40% of fatal accidents caused by youth aged below 25 are alcohol related (Chaloupka and Henry 225). In addition, the government is obligated with a role of ensuring that the youth have a future in a society without impediments such as alcoholism and fatal accidents.

Orderly society

Majority of the youths under the age of 25 are jobless or college students. Traditionally, such group of people in the society enjoys binge-drinking that is depicted as reckless indulgence of alcoholism.

In an orderly society, binge-drinking is perceived as a sign of moral decay where the youth gets noisy and irresponsible. In any case, the society benefits from healthy and sober youth who can assume responsibility at young age. The quality of life is the concern of the government, and making sure that future generations do not overindulge in alcohol.

Economic reasons

Alcohol consumption is not suitable for the youth who are probably in college or unemployed. At least, people aged above 25 can be employed and support their drinking behaviors.

On the other hand, reducing the drinking age limit attracts underage alcoholics. Allowing people who are economically unstable to indulge in irresponsible behaviors is a danger to the welfare of the country. For example, allowing youth aged 21 to drink allows underage college students to access alcohol through their friends.

Public health

As a matter of public health, at least 4,300 deaths are recorded every year among the youths due to alcohol related issues (Alati et al. 789). However, with the increased drinking age limit of 21 in the United States since 1990s, the number of youths consuming alcohol reduced immensely.

Nonetheless, with current socioeconomic problems in the society, the prevalence of underage drinking has increased over the last decade. In this regard, the government has turned its attention in financing public health awareness programs that promote increment of drinking age limit. In addition, youths who access alcohol at young age are vulnerable to use of other dangerous drugs such as cocaine, marijuana and heroin.

Public awareness

In recent surveys, it has emerged that raising the drinking age limit to 25 may not have an immediate positive impact. In fact, raising the drinking age limit contributed to other alcohol related problems and social ills. In this regard, the alternative to raising drinking age limit is establishing public awareness programs. Proper education on dangers of consuming alcohol among the youths should take precedence in schools.

In fact, a curriculum based on alcohol and drugs should be incorporated in the education systems as part of the social studies. Teaching the youths about personal and social responsibility is critical for them to understand that choices have consequences. Alternatively, the government can reevaluate penalties associated with underage drinking. Severe penalties for underage drinking can be a critical deterrence to the same.

Nonetheless, effective alcohol policy that is not based on ideology, but science is necessary for the country. The public need to understand that the consequences of underage drinking are not morally-based, but affect an individual and the society from a biological, psychological and socio-economic perspective.

Nevertheless, establishing the drinking age limit to 25 is not effective unless personal, state and community efforts are directed to enforce the policy.

Reflection paper. Brainstorming

The drinking age limit refers to the minimum number of years an individual should be allowed to access or consume alcoholic drinks. Majority of the countries around the world prefer 18 years as the drinking age limit (International Center for Alcohol Policies 2). The minimum and maximum drinking age limits are 16 and 21 years respectively. In recent times, the drinking age limit is one the most contentious issues in the society.

Majority of people who prefer an orderly society with responsible youths want the drinking age limit increased from 18 or 21 to 25. From a personal perspective, 25 is the most rational drinking age limit. The debate on drinking age limit can be associated with pertinent issues such as drugs abuse by youths. The rise of crime and other social ills is associated with overindulge in alcohol.

I have always thought that a healthier society is characterized by sober people. It is through this personal view, I think that scientific reasons should be used in this debate over drinking age limit.

In order to understand the issue of drinking age limit, I used secondary materials and analyzed data for in-depth understanding. I utilized statistics from reliable sources depicting how underage drinking is disastrous to youths and the society. Nonetheless, the persuasive paper was challenging in terms of finding the correct material for analysis. In addition, some of the materials did not have adequate content that supports the paper’s thesis.

From the persuasive paper, it is difficult to identify any weakness since an in-depth analysis of the topic was done. The paper is informative and provides a basis for further debate and research of the contentious subject.

Works Cited

Alati, Rosa, et al. “Do maternal parenting practices predict problematic patterns of adolescent alcohol consumption?.” Addiction 105.5 (2010): 872-880. Print.

Chaloupka, I. Frank and Henry, Saffer. “Effects of Alcohol Price Policy on Youth: A Summary of Economic Research.” Alcohol Problems Among Adolescents: Current Directions in Prevention Research (2013): 225. Print.

International Center for Alcohol Policies 2002. Drinking age limits. PDF file. 22 June. 2014.