Dear Future President,
Unsafe drinking is a prevalent issue among America’s youth. It is something that I find concerning, and that I feel could have a solution. The current drinking age of 21 encourages youth to engage in unsafe drinking because it is “fun and rebellious”, or if you are in college it is just something you do.
In Abc New’s article “Should Drinking Age Stay at 21?”, David J Hanson, Ph.D and Professor of Sociology at the State University of New York at Potsdam describes how such a high drinking age makes drinking more attractive to younger people. The article also states that young people in European countries can buy alcohol at an age as young as 16, and because of this there is no motivation to drink in secret. In other words, because young people can legally buy and drink in front of responsible adults, there is less of a reason for them to drink in unsafe environments. America’s youth, on the other hand, buy and drink alcohol in secret and are reluctant to reach out for help when they need rides home or find themselves in unsafe situations.
In the article “Drinking 18 vs. 21” Barrett Seaman, a Time Magazine veteran, comments,“That sort of moderating behavior is totally absent. So here’s a whole generation of young people learning to drink from themselves, instead of from people who’ve had some experience with it.” Most people begin to drink before they turn 21, they just have no one to teach them how to drink responsibly. They learn to drink at parties, where everyone binge drinks. In other cultures where the drinking age is lower, a person can learn to drink in moderation and out in the open. Drinking is learned to be less of an illegal activity and more of something to do in moderation.
Lowering the drinking age could lead to many potential benefits. Youth could feel more open about drinking responsibly. It could also eliminate the number of parties that involve underage drinking. Eighteen is a more realistic age to wait for to drink than twenty- one.
picture from www.euractiv.com