During the time period of the Vietnam war, there was a brief period where the drinking age was lowered to 18, causing numerous amounts of conflict regarding safety. Lowering the drinking age began to take a toll on the nation’s highways. This caused outbreaks in alcohol-related traffic fatalities which were rapidly increasing causing Congress to put pressure on raising the age. In 1975 when the national drinking age was raised to 21 the number of traffic fatalities decreased. The amount of death lessened and overall had a positive outcome on well being of the younger generation, not only were traffic-related fatalities lessened causing for less worry of drunk underage driving but the cognitive damage in young individuals lessened as well. Though it is still arguable that younger generations have still been prone to drink under the legal drinking age this doesn’t mean that the drinking age should be lowered.

Considering in many other countries the national drinking age is 18 teens and adolescents in countries where the drinking age is higher feel that when they are the rightful age of 18 they are to be considered an adult in almost every context — including in the voting booth, therefore, should they be considered an adult when it comes to ordering a beverage. This being true does not minimize the harms underage drinking causes to one’s health.

Ruth Sanchez-Way, director of the Center of Substance Abuse Prevention, says teen drinking also involves serious issues of emotional and physical maturity”. She argues that underage alcohol consumption would condone the stunting of mental growth and the possibility of health issues such as impairing one’s ability to make decisions and one’s memory, ultimately resulting in brain deformities; or damaging vital organs such as the stomach causing for one’s consumption of alcohol to lead to acid reflux disease, or in extreme cases of consumption cancer primarily liver. Each of these statistics being serious and concerning thus leading us to question why is this something we are still debating.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 If it is medically and cognitively irresponsible to lower the drinking age from 21 then why is it a debate we are having? by Kianna is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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7 Comments
  1. Christopher 4 weeks ago

    Thanks for writing this Kianna. I have been to countries where the drinking age is as low as 14, and while those societies seem just as tame as our own, it is important to consider the effects just below the surface. I like how you approach this issue from an absolutist point of view: just because other people do it does not mean its write. This makes sense on a personal and societal scale.

  2. Sophie 4 weeks ago

    This article is very interesting. I had no idea that there were more highway fatalities when the drinking age was lowered to 18. This is a very interesting discussion topic, here is another article you may find useful.
    https://drinkingage.procon.org/

  3. Mariah 4 weeks ago

    Kianna, I think this is a very interesting read. I enjoyed how you discuss everything from an impartial point of view and offer statistics to prove the harm in a lower drinking age. I think that this is a conversation that we should be having more often in order to come to a conclusion. I think that including counter arguments could really strengthen this piece. Here is a link to an article that gives potential reasons for lowering the drinking age. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/12/lower-drinking-age-college-113328
    Great job!

  4. Miriam 4 weeks ago

    Kianna, I agree that this is an important topic to look at. I think that there are many pros to having the drinking age at 21. However, I think it’s also worth it to read about how other countries are dealing with underage drinking. You may know that different countries use different ways to tackle this issue, be it politically or culturally. I think that the problem with drinking does not lie within a legal age, but the overall culture around. I think you might find this article interesting.
    https://thisnakedmind.com/alcohol-culture-america/

  5. Joseph 4 weeks ago

    Kianna, this is so interesting. In the times that we’re in, the drinking age seems to be unimportant. It’s nice to see this and have attention called to it. I like this discussion post and I think this link would provide an interesting pro/con list for this topic.

    https://drinkingage.procon.org/

  6. Jacob 4 weeks ago

    I feel like that this kind of issue regarding the drinking age has become such an uninformed and polarized issue in modern day politics. You make valid points about the medical consequences of alcohol and how dangerous it can be, which are things that I had not even seriously considered. Here is some more info on the topic that could help you:

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/reading-between-the-headlines/201207/the-pros-and-cons-drinking-18

  7. Angelica 4 weeks ago

    Kianna I have to say that when reading this I agree with you one hundred percent. I really liked that you to come the time to do the research and look into the history of a specific area. It made your point all that stronger. I also found another article on the national drinking age act that I believe that would help you a lot.

    https://alcoholpolicy.niaaa.nih.gov/the-1984-national-minimum-drinking-age-act

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