Underage Drinking And The Drinking Age Essay

Underage Drinking And The Drinking Age Essay

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Drinking alcohol has been a staple in American culture dating back even beyond colonial times. As a direct result, drinking at a younger age became widely accepted and was considered to be a part of growing up and becoming an adult. While the drinking age was initially defined as twenty-one, this eventually changed - beginning in the 1960’s - and was lowered to eighteen in most states across the country. However, a dramatic increase in the amount of alcohol-related accidents occurred, thus leading to strict legislation passed by Congress in which the national drinking age of twenty-one was again enforced. Despite the effort from Congress, underage drinking in today’s society continues to grow year by year. There are many factors that play a part in underage drinking, and also in its aftermath – these include physical, financial and social impacts.
It is no secret that with underage drinking comes massive physical damage – both from the alcohol itself, and the effects the alcohol has neurologically and its effects on your actions. Every year, a little over 5,000 people under the age of twenty-one lose their lives in the United States because of alcohol consumption as a minor. Of those 5,000 people, “1,900 (38 percent) involve motor vehicle crashes, 1,600 (32 percent) result from homicides, and 300 (6 percent) result from suicides” (Office of the Surgeon General, 1). These breathtaking statistics show an average of almost fourteen deaths per day, solely from underage drinking. If the physical loss of life isn’t convincing enough of how awful the trend of underage drinking truly is, then also take note in regard to the damage it can do to the human body. Drinking in itself is harmful, but can create a plethora of physical consequenc...


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...ased on if they drink or not. However, the underage drinkers – whom we’ve established are generally popular – are also the individuals that don’t do the best in school. “Numerous studies have shown that youth who demonstrate a high involvement in their school, as evidenced by good grades or participation in extracurricular and/or academic activities, are less likely to engage in underage drinking” (Hanes, 4). In social theory, those who do good in school are less likely to be an underage drinker, while those who slack and don’t dedicate their time to school are less successful. This leads to an overall gist that underage drinkers tend to be less intelligent, successful and later in life it catches up to them. Therefore, while it may be the cool thing to do during high school or college, oftentimes it catches up to individuals and hurts their social status in the end.

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