Lowering the drinking age: Increasing their Lifespan

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Before the year of 1975, the minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) was set at eighteen. It wasn’t until 1984 when the National Minimum Drinking Age Act was passed which required the States to set the MLDA at twenty-one causing no one under the age of twenty-one to be able to consume or purchase alcohol. States that did not comply faced a reduction in highway funds under the Federal Highway Aid Act. Many can argue that ever since the drinking age was set at a higher age limit, there have been less reports of death due to intoxication, both on the road and off the road (Mooney). Young adults between the ages of eighteen and twenty are still developing many parts of their brain and if they begin to consume alcohol at such an early age, it can thwart their developmental process. Another problem that can arise from lowering the drinking age is that if people begin drinking at an earlier age they can become more susceptible to diseases caused by alcohol consumption. The minimum legal drinking age should remain at twenty-one because it will decrease alcohol abuse among young adults, developmental growth will not be affected at such an early age, and people will not be at such a high risk for disease caused by alcoholism. There was a time in the United States where young adults between the ages of eighteen and twenty were allowed to consume or purchase alcohol. According to Alexander C. Wagenaar’s article, Effects of Minimum Drinking Age Laws…, “during the early 1970s a trend to lower the drinking age to eighteen, nineteen, or twenty began in the United States, providing many natural experiments. As a result of research, evidence indicating that traffic crashes among youth increased following lowering of the legal age, a citizens’ effort beg... ... middle of paper ... ...e span and giving them a healthier life. Works Cited Adapted from WHO’s Global Burden of Disease study (Rehmet al 2004), Alcohol in Europe Anderson P, Baumber B, Institute of Alcohol Studies, UK June 2006 "Alcohol Linked to 75,000 U.S. Deaths a Year." Msnbc.com. N.p., 25 June 2005. Web. 18 Jan. 2014. "Alcohol's damaging effects on the brain." ALCOHOL'S DAMAGING EFFECTS ON THE BRAIN. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2014. Feature, David FreemanWebMD. "Health Risks of Alcohol: 12 Health Problems Associated with Chronic Heavy Drinking." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2014. Wagenaar, Alexander C. "Effects of Minimum Drinking Age Laws: Review and Analyses of the Literature from 1960 to 2000." Effects of Minimum Drinking Age Laws. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2014. Watson, Stephanie. "How Alcoholism Works." HowStuffWorks. HowStuffWorks.com, 08 June 2005. Web. 20 Jan. 2014.

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