The Destruction of the Drinking Age

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Why can an 18 year old die for our country, vote on decisions that affect us all, and go to prison but cannot drink alcohol legally? The drinking age in America should be lowered from 21 to 18 in order to lose alcohol’s forbidden allure, decrease the number of binge drinking cases, and raise awareness and educate the dangers of alcohol use.

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According to David J. Hansen, a sociology professor at State university in New York When we raise the drinking age to 21, which incidentally is the highest in the world, it makes drinking more attractive to young people (Href, Mailto, and Jacinto). Called the forbidden fruit syndrome people inevitably want what is restricted to them (Griggs). Putting restrictions or limitations on something can evoke or change people’s ideas of importance on that particular item. At 18, teenagers are legally branded as adults. We can finally vote, we can drive without limits, we can enroll in the military, we can get tattoos, and we can marry without parental consent but for some reason the government decided that we need four more years of supposed adulthood to be able to drink. The drinking age for many countries is 18 and lower because there cultures do not treat alcohol as a terrible poison or magic potion(Herf, Mailto, and Jacinto). Our society has turned alcohol into a secret desire and coping mechanism. We have created this forbidden allure about alcohol drawing teenagers to underground drink being unsupervised which can cause harm to not only them but others around them.

Lowering the drinking agea to 18 could decrease the amount of binge drinking cases. The CDC reports that there are 2,200 alcohol poisoning deaths in the US this year and that binge drinking can lead to death from alcohol poisoning(CDC). The majority age of people who binge drink are young adults between the ages of 18-34 (CDC). There are numerous cases of binge drinking when people, specifically college students, turn 21 because most of the time instead of educating people on alcohol use people who have finally turned of age decide to go excessively drink because they do not care or do not know about the harm of alcohol but are rather excited due to the anticipation of waiting for 21 years.

Raising awareness and educating people about alcohol use is a better defense towards alcohol instead of raising the drinking age to 21 years old. Alcohol abuse and addiction are two of the most widespread forms of substance abuse in the world, including in the United States( A large percentage of the American people develop an addiction to alcohol because they were not educated about the risks and dangers that comes along with alcohol. The world perceives alcohol as a tool to forget or a device to transform you into something else. They forget to mention all of the negative effects of alcohol and how one drink can turn into ten. McCardell, a university president, suggests the idea that like a learner’s permit, when you turn 18 you are eligible for an alcohol permit after graduation and finishing a course on alcohol awareness (Griggs).

Alcohol is not some satanic device meant to ruin your life nor a drug to make you happy. It is merely a type of drink meant for celebrations and special events. Jesus even converts water to wine, which is an alcoholic beverage. Most alcoholic related deaths are contributed from alcohol abuse and addiction but if we lower the drinking age from 18 to 21 we will lose alcohol’s forbidden allure, decrease the amount of binge drinking cases, and raise awareness about the risks and dangers about alcohol use.

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The Destruction of the Drinking Age. (2019, Jul 01). Retrieved February 8, 2023 , from

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