However, a 2010 study by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation showed that although European countries have lower drinking ages and their teens had more drinking experience than United States teens, teens in the US showed equal or lower rates of intoxication/binge drinking than European counterparts, proving that teens from European countries are more responsible drinkers isn’t necessarily true. There are many rights in the United States that are granted to citizens who reach 21 years of age or older. Some critics would argue that alcohol consumption should be similarly restricted due to the responsibility required to themselves and others. Individuals don’t have the right to legally rent a car (from most companies) until age 25, purchase a handgun, gamble in a casino (in most states), adopt a child until age 21 or even compete for President until age 35. There are many potential dangers that face in our daily lives such as accidents, robbery, drowning, assault, 2
injury, acts of violence. Numerous studies have shown, adding alcohol, especially in excessive amounts can tremendously impede judgement, impair motor functions, and impact critical thinking, so why would society people under the age of 21 the right to legally purchase or drink alcohol? (3,4) Lowering the drinking age will invite more use of illicit drugs among 18-21 year olds. In a study conducted by the Journal of Studies of Alcohol and Drugs researchers found that the younger a person begins consuming alcohol, their likelihood increases for use of other illicit drugs. In lieu of this information, lowering MLDA to a lower age would only serve to further increase the number of teens who engage in multiple illegal substances. For this reason, all 50 US states decided to raise the (MLDA) from 18 to 21 in 1988. Further studies showed that shortly after all states changed this legislation, there was significant reduction in accidents both fatal and non-fatal. Recently, the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), conducted nationwide survey to investigate the effects of underage drinking. As a result, strong evidence was found to support the relationship between alcohol consumption and use of other illicit drugs. Although the findings are aren’t the same between males and females, researchers would agree that this did not change the fact that there is a direct correlation between alcohol and the potential use of other illicit drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications. With the opioid epidemic raging out of control in this country, the United States definitely doesn’t need to add to their dangers impacting our youth. This is one the many reason why I’m against lowering the MLDA to a lower age. (5,6) 3
MLDA 21 reduces alcohol consumption and the number of underage drinkers.
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