Different governments have age limits for legal consumption of alcohol. For instance, in most western states individuals below 18 years of age should not consume alchohol. Other countries have an age limit of 15 years (Miller, 2010). All these governments have reasons for setting this age requirements for alcohol consumption. For example, some argue that raising the legal age limit may not have an impact on society, if people do not have the will and zeal to stop irresponsible drinking. Others argue that raising the legal age limit would allow individuals to drink when they are mature and responsible (Kolander, 2011). This would reduce chances of irresponsible drinking. I believe governments should raise the legal age requirement for alcohol consumption, as an effort to reduce the negative impacts of alcohol to society. I support the idea of raising the age limit for alcohol consumption.
However, I also believe that this cannot be a successful measure to deal with the negative impacts of alcohol to society, without using other avenues. For instance, governments should implement a program to educate the youth on the negative impacts of alcohol. According to reports from a number of police departments, most youth consume alcohol when they have not met the age limit. This implies that raising the age limit can only be effective if parents instill morals in their young children (Miller, 2010). Therefore, the religious groups and the family have a massive role to play in regulating early consumption of alcohol. Secondly, raising the age limit for consumption of alcohol will reduce the harm of alcohol on the health of consumers. Individuals suffer from chronic effects due to alcohol consumption when they have access to it at early ages. For instance, the danger that an individual who started consuming alcohol at the age of 18, is more severe than that of an individual who started drinking at 25.
Health experts have claimed that early exposure to alcohol consumption has drastic effects on key internal body organs, compared to individuals who start consuming alcohol at late ages. In addition, raising the legal age for alcohol consumption reduces chances of addiction, due to less exposure (Billings, 2010). Early exposure to alcohol consumption has also led to a deteriorated culture in society. Families have broken up due to irresponsible drinking by children, who end up indulging in other criminal activities such as burglary, to finance their alcoholic behavior. At the current legal requirement of 18 years, most youth may not have the finances to finance their consumption of alcohol. This makes them depend on their parents by lying to them, to get money. In the event that the parents are not able to meet the financial demands of the children, the children look for other options to financial stability. Some go to the extent of stage managing kidnaps to get money from parents.
This has eroded the positive values of society, especially the youth, who are the largest group of the world’s population (Kolander, 2011). In conclusion, the above illustrations indicate that early exposure to alcohol consumption has more negative effects than positives. For example, individuals have a high probability of acquiring health complications, such as lung and kidney infections. Secondly, early access to alcohol consumption also erodes the morality of society.
In addition, early alcohol consumption may also affect the academic life of young adults, who end up as addicts to alcohol. These young adults also face the threat of joining illegal gangs in society. Thus, it would be reasonable to suggest that governments should consider revising the legal age limit upwards. However, other institutions in society must also aid in alleviating the negative impacts of alcohol to society. Religious groups and the family should provide advice to young adults on the dangers of early alcohol consumption.
Billings, S. (2010, October 24). Should the Legal Drinking Age Be Raised to 25 to Eliminate Deadly College Partying? Retrieved July 19, 2012, from christwire.org: http://christwire.org/2010/10/should-the-legal-drinking-age-be-raised-to-25-to-eliminate-deadly-college-partying/ Kolander, R. W. (2011). Drug Abuse Prevention. New York: Jones & Bartlett Learning. Miller, W. R. (2010). Rethinking Substance Abuse: What the Science Shows, and What We Should Do
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Topic: Legal Age for Alcohol Consumption
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