October 6, 2008

Don’t Raise Drinking Age

Don't raise drinking age

There have been some reports in the news lately about some colleges advocating lowering the drinking age to 18. The thinking seems to be, "The youngsters are going to drink anyway, we can't stop them, so why not change the laws so we don't have to deal with the issue."

Debra Saunders seems to agree and advocates lowering the drinking age because if, at 18 people are old enough to vote, or serve in the military, they should be allowed to drink.

Let's look at some numbers. The human brain isn't fully developed until about age 25. Of all of the drugs that have an effect on developing organs, alcohol has the most profound impact. The most severe damage to developing fetuses caused by a mother's drug use is done by alcohol. It also causes the most severe birth defects. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is far worse than anything heoin, crack, or any other drug can cause.

Alcohol, because it is so readily available, and socially acceptable, is the number one "gateway drug." the brain beginning with the first drink. When alcohol is in the body, the body will try to metabolize the alcohol first, before anything else, anything. That's why the ads say we shouldn't drink if we are taking certain other drugs.

Forget the legal limit of 0.08; impairment starts immediately. The drug involved in 80 percent of date rapes nationwide is alcohol. As for drugs other than alcohol; anywhere from 70percent to 89 percent of those addicted to other drugs are addicted or at least abusing perscription drugs. Hmmm.

Rather than saying, "If young people are old enough to fight, but too young to drink, the drinking age should be lowered;" why don't we instead raise the minimum draft age?

Christopher Coon


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