Underage Drinking

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Michael Cooper
English 102-Laverty
December 8, 2012
Under the age, over the limit!
Do you remember how cool you felt the first time that you drank? All of us younger kids, hanging out with the older kids, everyone getting drunk together. Thinking about this when I was younger really made me raise the question of why we have a legal limit to drink in the first place. Underage kids have had no problem getting alcohol for decades so why put a legal limit on it? When I found myself asking these questions the answers seemed to make sense; or maybe it was my senior year of high school when I got suspended for ten days. After that had occurred it made me think that maybe they have a limit on alcohol for a reason. One of those reasons being that kids are not mature enough yet to handle the side effects that alcohol brings. Underage drinking has been around for years but it brings little to no good to our society.

In the United States, there is a certain legal age that states the time in which individuals are allowed to drink or purchase alcohol. Even though you may not agree with most of the rules that the federal government has set in place, this is one rule that I am definitely in favor for. They have placed the legal age limit at 21 for all alcoholic beverages. It does not matter what state you are in; the drinking law is the same for all 50 states in the United States of America (Cost of Underage Drinking). Sadly, sometimes these laws are broken. Even with these laws in place, the alcoholic consumption by our youth still becomes an issue in the United States. After doing research I have come to find out that statistics show that at least eleven million teenagers are still underage drinkers, with about half of them being binge drinkers, meaning they usually have more than 5 drinks per occasion (Flewelling) . In my opinion I believe that America needs to have a change in culture and beliefs towards underage drinking and make it a main priority. While so many people are focused on the consumption of drugs and making that go away, underage drinking is still a humungous issue in America. The NIH News stated that, “Alcohol is the most used drug by young Americans these days.” When you have newspapers starting to agree with this theory, then you know it’s a serious issue. The risky behavior that is performed Is often associated with underage drinking can have devastating and long term consequences. “Forty percent of those who start drinking before the age of fifteen meet criteria for alcoholism at some point in their lives.” (Atwood).

People often wonder the reason that makes teenagers take part in this terrible habit. There are many reasons why teenagers drink alcohol. For example many homes in America have developed a habit of sipping some alcohol before dinner every night. Another reason to use alcohol at such a young age would be to relieve stress, especially teenagers who use alcohol in time of a confrontation or an argument arises between their family and friends. I believe the main reason that teenagers use alcohol is because they do not much about their effects. In a society where the kid’s parents use alcohol on a daily basis and all the advertisement that is out there now that shows alcohol is very attractive or the cool thing to do; teenagers see these influences and think that it is the cool thing to do, and will make them be considered more of an adult. While I was conducting research I found out that those young people that start drinking at an early age are five times more likely to experience alcohol related complications later on in their lives. Studies have shown that alcohol has more harmful affects on a teenager’s brain and the giving of child birth than an adult would have (Dee) . A person’s brain usually develops the most between the ages of 12 and 21, and if you are consuming alcohol on a regular basis during that time then what do you think the effects are going to...
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