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Teenage Drinking - Essay Example

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The essay "Teenage Drinking" describes that the pro-teenage drinking brigade offers no independent advantage to be gained by the teenager in any way possible and resorts to attacking the reasons for the age limit on drinking. While creative methods to prevent teenage drinking should be sought, the age limit remains an important tool that should not be done away with…
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Teenage Drinking
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Teenage Drinking

Download file to see previous pages... One argument for teenage drinking is based on the fact that at the age of 18 individuals are already legal adults and can marry or get married, have a say in elections through voting, adopt children, drive vehicles, procure abortions, serve on juries, fly airplanes, hold important public offices, serve imprisonment and even capital punishment and sue or be sued in court, yet they cannot drink until they are 21 years old. This can only be termed as hypocrisy especially considering that one acquires a driving license at 16 years and can be entrusted with a gun for hunting at the tender age of 12 years while they cannot be entrusted with drinking (Hanson). There is also the view that prohibition of teenage drinking in public places has resulted in teenagers hiding and drinking in unsupervised places and maximizing such opportunities through binge drinking which has far serious health effects. Lowering the drinking age may have the effect of removing the taboo tag on alcohol and thus remove the thrill that drives teenagers towards alcohol and breaking the law. This will result in reduced binge drinking and moderate teenage alcohol consumption (ProCon). Bryson weighs in on the debate with the view that at the age of 18 one can not only represent the country in war but also work at a beer/wine/liquor distillery besides owning a bar among numerous other adult rights and freedoms such as paying taxes, act and access pornography, engage in commercial sex activities in some states, sign legal contracts and run for most political offices while being forbidden to drink. This is tantamount to treating the adults of 18-20 years as second class citizens. Besides all these, the drinking restriction has not served its purpose as evidenced by the amount of unstoppable drinking occurring at college level. Studies also indicate that there are no significant differences in harm caused by alcohol between an 18 year old and a 21 year old. Arguments against Teenage Drinking: Alcohol drinking has been shown to have serious medical complications in teenagers especially when they engage in binge drinking. These include brain damage which is a consequence of the neurotoxicity of consumption of large amounts of alcohol and fears are that such brain damage may be irreversible. Comparative studies indicate that drinking teenagers have impaired memory and limited cognitive skills as compared to non-drinking ones. Teenager’s brain is not structurally fully developed hence teenagers are at higher risks of damage in comparison to adult brains (IAS 3; CADCA 1; Trudeau). Johnson (2) identifies alcohol as a major contributor to juvenile delinquency stating that such teenagers are more likely to bear guns and other weaponry, damage property, commit rape and assault among other violent conduct and illegal acts. A closely related consequence of teenage drinking is engaging in abuse of other drugs including drugs such as marijuana, inhalants, cocaine and smoking (CDC Factsheet; Hitti). Such drugs not only create problems with the law but also health and mental problems alongside drop in performance in schools. This is a scenario which results in cross-over youths which referring to youths causing concerns across multiple systems such as counseling, juvenile criminal justice, education and health. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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