Many people around the world drink alcohol for numerous reasons. However, some people may not be able to drink alcohol in other countries because of the drinking age law. For example, people are allowed to drink alcohol at age 18 in Korea, but they cannot drink in the United States because the drinking age law is 21. Since 1984, the United States Congress introduced the minimum drinking and legal purchasing age law as 21 and most states have followed the law until now. After the law passed, the percentages of drinking decreased, but at the same time there are now more people protesting. Even though there are more people protesting, the nation should not lower the drinking age from 21 to a younger because drinking alcohol can cause humongous damage to human body, the accidents and deaths rate will increase, and the rate of alcoholism will increase.
The history of alcohol began a long time age. When the first alcohol was created, people did not drink as much as nowadays because the main purpose of using alcohol was to treat illnesses or other medical purposes. However, ever since few centuries ago, people, typically European, began using the alcohol for another purpose: drinking. After some time, drinking alcohol became popular. It is also around this time that Americans started drinking. Europeans imported abundant supplies of liquor into the United States in the 1600s when they came to America. They also created liquor using ingredients from America. As American alcohol became popular in the late 1700s, people started drinking it with every meal. Everybody, even children, could enjoy drinking alcohol without any interference because there was no age limit for drinking alcohol. However, few years later, Abraham Lincoln realized how alcohol was dangerous to the human body; therefore, he imposed a new tax on liquor and made it mandatory to teach the danger of alcohol at school. After the Civil war, in 1910, the United States government banned driving while intoxicated and 9 years later, in 1919, the Constitution announced 18th amendment:After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited (U.S. Constitution). The government officially prohibited manufacturing, selling, or transporting intoxicating liquors to the whole states. However, in 1993, the Constitution announced another amendment: The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed (U.S. Constitution). The 18th amendment was quickly abolished because it failed to be maintained and raised the crime rate. Later, in 1984 July 19, the U.S. constitution introduced the current drinking age law, 21.
First, the National Institute of Health, NIH, studies whether alcohol is good for health and if it is bad, it examines how it is bad and effects on the human body. According to NIH, alcohol mainly damages the brain, heart, pancreas, immune system, and liver (Alcohol’s Effects on the Body). Alcohol blocks the brain and other tissues from communicating, so the body cannot function properly. If the body fails to function properly, the body and brain cannot develop properly and the behavior and mood may change negatively too. Some people say alcohol helps increase blood pressure; however, it is more likely to cause arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat) and cardiomyopathy (stretching and drooping of heart muscle). Furthermore, people who have high blood pressure need to control or stop drinking alcohol because it can lead to heart attacks and make their immune system weaker. If the immune system becomes weaker, the liver will be impacted by getting alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis because alcohol primarily damages the liver. Even if it is worse, it can lead human body to have cancers such as liver, mouth, esophagus, throat, and breast cancer.
The human body is connected together. If one organ is affected adversely, all other organs can be damaged. Lowering the drinking age will make people drink more alcohol. However, if people drink too much, they be hurt physically more than they gain in entertainment; therefore, the drinking age limit should not be lowered from 21.
Secondly, the lower minimum legal drinking age produced not only more sale and consumption but also car accidents, typically people who just stepped into their adulthood. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, reported that in 2015 alone, about 1.1 million drivers were arrested and 111 million drivers self reported. More than ten thousands people are also losing their lives every year because of alcohol impaired driving crashes (Impaired Driving). However, among casualties, 2,333 teenagers, between ages 16- 19 were included and 234,845 teenagers were put in a serious situation by accidents (Teen Driver).
This is the another statistic that focused on teenagers’ alcohol impaired driving crashes. According to another center, NSDUH, about 7.3 million teenagers who were under 21 had experienced drinking liquor. Out of the total, 19 percent drank alcohol illegally. This caused 1900 young people to be dead and 300 young people to commit suicide (Underage Drinking Statistics).
The rate of drinking alcohol continues to increase every year. At the same time, the average of accidents and death rates is also on the rise This statistics shows how people get out of control after drinking liquor. Both teenagers and adults drink and drive. Many people have been arrested, injured, and killed by drunk driving. If the drinking age limit lowers, more people will be injured and killed. The crime rate will also be higher. In order to cope with this situation, the age limit for alcohol should not be lowered.
Thirdly, lowering the drinking age limit will result in more alcoholism. Oxford dictionary defines alcoholism as addiction to the consumption of alcoholic drink (Oxford Dictionary). People cannot handle their behavior or thoughts while they are drunk; therefore, they can easily be a bad influence to others or society through robbery, sexual assault, rape, violence, child abuse, or homicide. In 2015, 86 percent of homicide, 15 percent of robberies, and 37 percent of rapes and sexual assaults were committed by drunk people.
Alcoholism also impacts families. More than hundred thousand incidents of family violence is caused by liquor.Scientists announces that 40 percent of all crimes are related to alcohol abuse (Alcoholism and Family/ Marital problems.). In the United States, there are also numerous people struggling with drinking and it is turning to a serious problem these days. There are about 12 to 14 million adults who have an alcoholism problem and more than 3 million teenagers are at risk to be addicted.
To lower the age limit for alcohol is the same as to increase the number of alcohol addicts and criminal rates. There are so many alcoholics that even at the age limit of 21, lowering the age limit will likely aggravate the situation. Young people are also more likely to become addicted to alcohol because they cannot control themselves as well as adults. Therefore, it is wise to stay within the age limit of 21.
Today, numerous people believe that small amount of drinking alcohol has benefits to human body because some doctors and medias announcement. According to Mayo Clinic, The possible health benefits of drinking alcohol are reduce risks of developing and dying from heart disease and diabetes (Nutrition and healthy eating). About six hundred thousands people die in the United States because of heart diseases; however, a glass of wine can help to relieve their heart diseases, at the same time, it drops the death rate that caused by heart disease. If people control the drinking amount, it can enoughly be beneficial to our health.
However, it also contains abundant health risks. Typically addiction, fatty liver, heart disease, mental health problems, and even several cancers at the same time. Some doctors say it can prevent heart attacks and breast cancers; however, others have announced there is a larger possibilities to get other health risks. It is more helpful to eat fruit such as grapes or berries instead of alcohol. People tend not to recognize some facts, but only listen to what they want to hear. Media News Today also reports that Women should not drink more than a glass a day, and men, two glasses (Alcohol use and your health). This means more than a glass or two can cause many dangerous health risks. When people asking about benefit of alcohol, most people only provide wines, not other alcoholic beverages because there are no other benefits for other liquor to human body. Drinking alcohol is actually more easier to have health risks than prevent the health.
The age limit for alcohol is still a controversial issue, and many people disagree with it. Many people have expressed a strong desire to change the legal age to below 21, but there are so many problems that can arise from changing the age limit. For example, profuse accidents still occur when the age limit is unchanged, and if the age limit is changed, more accidents will happen. Accidents are not only bad for people, but also can affect the reputation of the country. It is a more efficient and wiser choice to maintain the age limit to protect people’s health and raise the reputation of the country rather than to change the age restriction to bring accidents and country’s bad reputation. Knowing the problems and trying to prevent them is a far more important than conforming to people’s’ desires; therefore, the drinking age should not be lowered.
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