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Alcohol is a popular beverage which has been enjoyed for many years but to what extent does it impact a human’s lifestyle? Alcohol is a depressant drug that alters the drinker’s perception, emotions, movement and vision with it being legal in most countries around the world. Research suggests that young adults between the age of 18-21 are most at risk to the effects caused by excessive alcohol consumption. Most teenage deaths have been due to alcohol with it been a popular beverage at teen parties but now it is time to stop.
In Australia, the legal age to drink is 18 but due to the lack of responsible use over the years with many alcohols related deaths, it is time that the alcohol age must be risen to the age of 21.
In Australia the legal age to drive is 16 with many hours of experience to get use to the roads. When alcohol is allowed into our young lives we often abuse it not respecting the way it can truly affect our body.
In 2015 33% of Australian alcohol related crashes were aged between 17- 24 years of age which clearly suggests that 18-21 year olds aren’t mature enough to be handling alcohol1. Drink driving is a major problem for 18-21 years old in Australia and isn’t just leaving the driver vulnerable to a car accident but the community, leaving them unsafe and at risk of a car accident or even death. Imagine if you woke up one day and your loved one was the victim of a drink driving car accident, you would be in fury of the drink driver and that often occurs.
In fact in the US every day 28 innocent people die due to an alcohol-impaired driver2. Raising the age to 21 will greatly decline the risk of young fatalities on the road. It has been proven, in 1984 the US government has risen the age from 18-21 and 4 years later raising the age to 21 had resulted in a drop of 16% in the number of crashes and fatalities on the road3.
Irresponsible drinking whilst young can lead to alcoholism, when we are addicted to the consumption of an alcoholic drink. Alcoholism is a very bad situation to be in as alcohol is highly expensive and if you are not careful, you could be on the streets. People who suffer from alcoholism experience crucial family situations with a new report revealed that more than 1 million Australian children are shockingly affected by their parents or caregiver abusing alcohola. Teenagers are often more emotional than mature adults and are more likely to come down with depression and anxiety. They then self-medicate with alcohol and other drugs and abuse it leading to alcoholism. Adolescents need to learn that alcohol isn’t just a drink but a drug and can pose great effects to your mental wellbeing. Raising the age will change the lives of young adults and can lead them down better and more successful pathways.
Alcohol can take teenagers down the wrong path in terms of health and wellbeing. The average male doesn’t fully mature to the age of 25 with young drinkers abusing alcohol not understanding what it is doing to their health3. In fact drinking is more harmful for an 18 year old than a fully mature adult as their brains are still developing and going through growth. Drinking through this period kills brain cells and will lead to lifelong damage to the brain and the body preventing teenagers from reaching their full educational capacity. In 2013 a group of Australian doctors had done a survey and 63% of drinkers aged between 18-24 had drank alcohol to get drunk and that clearly identifies that they have improper and irresponsible use over alcohol and completely oblivious about the side effects to their health®.
In conclusion, raising the legal drinking age to 21 in Australia will create a safer place for the community to live in and will decrease the alcohol related deaths per year drastically. It will prevent alcohol related deaths on the road, it will save young people from becoming addicted finding themselves in bad financial and family situation and of course will improve young people’s health and mental wellbeing. It has been proven in the US with fatalities decreased by 16% when raising the age to 217. Raising the age could save one of your loved one’s lives or it may even save yours. Just remember 18 is just another age, it doesn’t determine the fact that we have matured.
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