The legal age of drinking and the reason for a specific “maturity” level has been under question for some time. There are several opinions, which suggest for the lowering of the minimum age while others argue for its increase. Considering the harmful effects of alcohol on the human organism, both physical and mental, the minimum legal age to permit sale of alcohol should stay the same or be increased. In any case, before making any decision, a detailed psychological and social research must be carried out.
The purchase of alcohol, its further intake and the behavior to which it results are all aspects that have a common factor – personality of the person and the social environment they live in. Some social divisions or institutions must have a stricter view of the law due to the sensitive nature of the surrounding circumstances. The norms of society, enforcement, as well as consequences of lowering the drinking age will have a direct effect on the benefits and negatives sides of the issue. The analysis must begin with the gathered evidence in accordance to the legal matters and the damage which has resulted from alcohol intake as it affects all organs and brain functions.
The research that has been conducted in relation to the question in hand pertains to the effects of alcohol on a particular population and the out coming consequences. This form of study is somewhat limited because it does not account for the myriad of other things that influence social behavior, personal motives, development of one’s personality and the environmental impacts which always surround a person and affect them in a unique and different ways. For example, there are some people who propose that lowering the drinking age will change things to the better. There are talks that in case the legal drinking age is lowered, people will have a better chance to get used to this form of stimulation. By having higher access to alcohol at many locations, people will realize that they can drink in a proper way without behaving erratically. But at the same time, it means that the younger population will be able to walk around the streets with alcohol, hide it in schools and colleges, having fun and beginning their rebellious lifestyles much earlier or continuing it, for that matter. There is no denials of the large amount of evidences which show the negative effects on the brain caused by alcohol. The mind becomes used to the intoxication, and in most cases, it might get the person dependant on it. There is also evidence that constant drinking will develop depression if the person suddenly stops. Panic attacks and fear of failure will increase, so the person will be forced to drink again (Blum, 2010).
Even though the above article might somewhat suggest ideas about the reasons for drinking and social situations, it merely steers a path towards the better understanding of why people drink and why specific quantities are drank. This is much related to the motives of why people want to drink. Some simply enjoy the taste of a beverage. For example, beer is often drunk with something salty, wine with meats and fish, different flavor liqueurs are preferred by people who like a sweet taste, as with cocktails. Those who choose to drink “harder” alcohol, such as whiskey, rum, vodka, tequila, etc., might enjoy the burning sensation or the difference of taste which is not like anything else. As a result, this type of drinking is guided by taste senses.
The other type is to get drunk or feel the effect of being intoxicated. One glass is usually the desired norm because it allows a person to relax, feel somewhat more confident and sociable. There are also people who want to get “smashed”, go binge drinking and find adventure on their drunken person. Others enjoy drinking and driving, doing extreme sports while intoxicated or simply spending their days at work, home or other places being constantly in the intoxicated state. This shows that people’s reasons are the drive force behind drinking, but not the legal age they are allowed to buy alcohol.
In this matter, people do not really care what the legal drinking age is, if they want to buy alcohol, get drunk and get in trouble with the law, they will do it. This is illegal, but they will find ways to get alcohol through friends, relatives’ house bar or simply asking a kind stranger on the street to buy alcohol for them. This means that in order to make decision on the legal age of drinking, social institutions and the government must provide the necessary control and education to people about the harms and benefits of alcohol. It is a well-known fact that there are many intoxicating substances in the world, the majority of which are illegal. The government has selected alcohol to apply a form of control, but simply sticking an age limit to it will not provide the necessary monitoring to the problem (Grant & Leverton, 2009).
Some of the suggested solutions when deciding on the drinking age and controlling the enforcement of the limitation might be related to the places of sale. Usually, people will not want to go through the difficulty of building an apparatus at home, so that own alcohol can be made, even though some resort to this option. As such, the access to alcohol must be better controlled. Majority of North America begins and finishes selling alcohol at certain hours, without having a 24 hours access to it. Some places do have all night stores which sell alcohol. Many countries have designated stores, while there are provinces and states which have gas stations and convenience stores that sell alcohol. This proves that it is difficult to decide on specific measures of control.
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In conclusion, legal drinking age exists to provide a form of a border line. There is no doubt that young children should not be given access to alcohol, but as one gets older, limitations in age stop mattering. Thus, the society must regulate the age, but reasons and places of consumption.
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