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Drinking Laws This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     A strong belief of mine is that the drinking age should be increased. I don’t believe that at 21 most people are either mature enough or responsible enough to handle drinking. Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused drugs. The solution is simple, and I don’t see why it should not be done.

It’s common for minors to have friends who are the legal drinking age. I see people come into the store where I work who are clearly buying alcohol for minors. Teens will wait outside while the 21-year-old buys the alcohol. This frustrates me no end.

It has been proved that the brain doesn’t stop growing until the age of about 23. Yes, 23 is definitely not a large gap, but it is very significant. Most people at 23 have graduated from college and are ready to start their lives. On the other hand, many 21-year-olds are still in college, enjoying parties and the alcohol that comes with them. College is a time when many experience peer pressure to party and have fun with friends, which is where the danger emerges. If we could increase the drinking age by even a few years, we could save thousands of lives.

Automobile accidents are often a result of alcohol. The news is always reporting an accident because of a drunk driver who missed a stop sign or couldn’t stay in his lane. And it’s not always the drunk driver who gets hurt or killed. Since alcohol depresses the body, it makes drinkers more relaxed and loose. Consequently, they usually walk away from these accidents unscathed. One bad mistake, one bad judgment can cause many families endless trauma. The guilt the driver eventually feels often lasts the rest of his life. No one should have to live with that, or the knowledge that a loved one was taken away because someone decided to drink and drive.

In my life, I’ve witnessed a lot of things that I wish I hadn’t and I’ve seen many things I wish I could forget. My oldest sister used to hang out with people who would get drugs from the street and have others buy alcohol so they could party. Looking back, I can see where she made her biggest mistake since what she did when she was younger screwed up the rest of her life. Her personality has changed a lot, and I don’t think it will ever be normal again, even with help.

I hate hearing about how someone drank at a party and drove home slowly and carefully, and everything turned out okay. They were lucky, but do you honestly want to take that chance? I don’t know anyone who would willingly gamble with their life just to enjoy a night of drinking. The risk is just too high.

I’m not saying we should ban alcohol, but I believe that it should be more closely monitored and controlled. There are lots of other ways to have fun with your friends that don’t involve drinking. Alcohol is a drug. It always was and it always will be. I believe we should take that into account and make some changes to the laws.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 59 comments. Post your own!

irawr said...
Dec. 4, 2009 at 12:23 pm:
I totally agree =)
 
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Jaquie This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 4, 2009 at 6:28 am:
I agree! This article is really great! Congrats on getting published!
 
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Kirk F. said...
Nov. 28, 2009 at 3:28 am:
ok i admit i have a drinking problem but i dont drink for fun or popularity or anything like that i drink to forget no its not a perminant fix but it works for the time being only problem is that time being is usualy jsut that night so i usualy have to repeat every night. yeah im under age i dont buy the alcohol i dont have some one ells buy it for me i make it myself and its only for myself no one ells. but im not out driving around killing people or fighting or destroying things i sit at home ... (more »)
 
Sis94 replied...
Dec. 13, 2010 at 4:55 pm :
OK i see if you sit at home you will be fine just dont get stupid with it
 
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EricBlair said...
Nov. 7, 2009 at 9:58 am:
My stance on alcohol is pretty much neutral, but I'm going to have to break that stance to point out flaws in your argument.
This article suggests that age and maturity and alcohol consumption go hand in hand. They do not. 18 year olds are no more likely to go nuts with alcohol than those in their 40's.
Second, don't illusion yourself into thinking that the people likely to abuse alcohol at an early age are those likely to listen to the age laws in the first place.<... (more »)
 
RainInSpain replied...
Mar. 12, 2010 at 8:06 am :
If you are responsible enough to obey the laws established by our country[in regards to drinking], then you are truly mature.
 
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loganmetcalf said...
Oct. 21, 2009 at 8:05 pm:
You're so right! Adult citizens of this country--citizens regarded by their government as fit to vote, sign contracts, consent to sex , use tobacco, pay taxes and serve in the military--simply do not have the right to the make adult decisions. No, they need a few years to wise up before they earn their basic human rights (otherwise their actions might not align with your personal value-judgements.)
 
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Dokidoki-rin This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 15, 2009 at 12:14 pm:
I disagree. I think the reason drinking is so popular among teens is either stress, peer pressure, or they think it's cool. If you increase it, it won't make a difference. If teens want to drink, they'll drink whether it's illegal or not. Lowering the age will make it seem less of a big deal to 18 year olds, and if drinking isn't a big deal- some teens might lose interest.
But I do agree that it's abused way too much. :(
 
Burrugh'sLunch replied...
Oct. 16, 2009 at 4:07 pm :
You are absolutely correct! However, when alcohol is not a big deal to eighteen year-olds, will they not look for something else, maybe dabble with some marajuana? That is what we do not want, alcohol is the lesser of two evils.
 
dragonfan replied...
Oct. 27, 2009 at 6:23 pm :
i agree if it was lowed teens would stop drinking but i agree with Burrugh'sLunch too because the probably would go to tobacco, marijuana so its a lose lose situation =( And i don't believe alcohol is a drug but it is addictive (your writing was vary good tho.)
 
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P. K. said...
Sept. 26, 2009 at 10:40 pm:
In France there is no drinking age. Even though some obuse it, there drinking obuse ratings arent even close to America. People drink because they think its cool, they feel bad. If we are teens are allowed to do it maybe theyll decide its not cool.
 
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Nunya D said...
Apr. 16, 2009 at 4:06 pm:
that would only make people drink more. the more u tell some1 they cant do somthin, the more their goin 2 do it.
 
Anita This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 8, 2010 at 4:23 pm :
yes! you're absolutely correct!
 
whiteraven1989 replied...
Dec. 16, 2010 at 4:14 pm :
i also agree the basic human nature is to want something that you can not have like a baby that has a ball that he/she is not playing with only wants the ball when you take it away 
 
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Amyyy said...
Feb. 14, 2009 at 2:39 am:
Alcohol is not a drug. There is a huge different between the two. But what is really dumb, is that the age allowed for drinking is 21, but at 18, you can smoke and go to war and die for your country! That just doesn't make sense. Either move it all up to 21 or bring drinking down to 18. I mean seriously- it's much more simple and makes more sense! (you did do a good job over-all with your writing. Keep it up!)
 
Kat11 replied...
Sept. 7, 2009 at 7:56 pm :
a slight correction (from a sober teenage alcoholic): alcohol is a drug. it's relatively addictive - not as much as heroin, closer to meth. i'm not disagreeing or agreeing about your opinions on drinking laws - just want you to be able to make informed decisions.
 
P. K. replied...
Sept. 26, 2009 at 10:43 pm :
Ya alcohol is in fact a drug, but this drug can be good for you such as red whine and some medicens use it. It can be obused like any other drug like cough syrup which is a drug, but it can be good or bad for you.
 
mommadonn replied...
Sept. 29, 2009 at 11:01 am :
Oh my: do you research ALCOHOL is a drug and the scariest part of it.... it is easily obtained and extremely addictive Facts from a teen alcoholic!!
 
NaCheezIt replied...
Feb. 8, 2010 at 8:55 pm :
Alcohol is definitely a drug! It alters the way the brain sends signals and it is highly addictive. It's a wonder that it is legal and Marijuana isn't...
 
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