When I was young the legal drinking age where I lived was 18. Many high school seniors could go to bars or buy alcohol. Needless to say, it caused problems. We seem to have lots of problems educating our kids about the consequences of overindulging in alcohol, drugs, sex or smoking. They don't do so well with handling responsibility for their actions either at a young age. I guess until that changes, they can wait until they are 21 year old adults to drink.
Important brain development is taking place during teen years. Mainly two important areas are being wired between the ages of 15-21 years old. The prefrontal cortex which is responsible for planning, decision making, impulse control, good judgement. And the hippocampus, responsible for memory and learning. Alcohol is a depressant that slows down brain activity and growth. Basically too much alcohol kills the branches and connections your brain is forming. On a side note, these two areas of brain growth make it very challenging to be a teen parent... Some have not developed the ability to make sound judgements for themselves let alone another little human being.
9 months ago
Last edited at 9:16AM on 7/9/2013
agree with jac... on the other hand (feel like tevia on fiddler on the roof).. kids in families homes in italy begin around 13-14 and they have less issues than us (oh they have issues too; just not as prevalent). certainly wine is better for you (in moderation) than soda. having never had alcohol myself, both seem to be true.. error on less is more.
I think allowing it at 16 is best, since at that age you still live with your parents, so they can make sure that their kids don't overdo it. If they only start drinking once they're in college, it can potentially completely take overhand. Besides, I know plenty of kids who are 15 and drink, even though the legal drinking age is 21. They have to make a big secret out of it, and then nobody can protect them. So if it is legal at 16, teens can be introduced to alcohol, without overdoing it. Besides, at that age, if consumed modestly, the alcohol won't do much damage...
From a personal standpoint, I'm against drinking, period (the few who overdo it ruin it for everyone). From a medical standpoint, the brain stops developing in the early 20s, and, prior to this, is easier to damage through substance abuse, so 22, and legally, I think it should be 18 (it doesn't make sense that you can go to war but you can't get drunk). If you couldn't tell, I'm a very conflicted person.
It depends on what kinds of alcohol you mean. In countries where children grow up drinking alcohol (a glass of watered down wine with dinner, etc), the issues with alcoholism and underage excessive drinking are drastically reduced, so I can see doing that as young as 12 or 13 (by watered-down ONLY, no real stuff that'll mess the kid up). Other than that, non-watered down wine, beer, etc SHOULD be allowed at 18 (I figure if you can choose to go die for your country, you should be able to make the choice to have a beer or not for yourself), and the hard stuff at 21.