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Binge drinking in the UK

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´╗┐BRITAINS ALCOHOL PROBLEMS We see drunken people almost everyday; whether it is on the news, in our local pub, walking down the street, or possibly even that one colleague at work who?s having a hard time. We?ve all heard the stories on the news about Britain?s problems with alcohol, whether its minors being inebriated, students binge drinking, or those of us who are simply alcoholics. And what are our great leaders doing to help prevent this? What is always their answer when this topic is raised in parliament? ?Let us raise the minimum legal age for buying and consuming alcohol to 21.? However I propose something radically different. Let us lower it. Aside from the obvious reasons ? such as being able to get married at 16 but being unable to have a celebratory drink at your own wedding - there are many valid reasons to lower the age limit. ...read more.


However if we lower the minimum age of consumption, therefore making alcohol more accessible to youths, the number of youths with alcohol problems will decrease significantly. In countries such as Italy and France where drinking a moderate amount of alcohol with the evening meal is the norm, they have significantly less alcohol related health issues than we do. Children are allowed a sip of wine or a slurp of beer because it?s a social activity. Children, and therefore teenagers, see alcohol and its function differently. They have no concept of going out ?to get drunk?. There is also the problem that, just like sex, alcohol is everywhere. There is at least one pub on every corner, every shop has an alcohol section - often near the checkout, alcohol in television shows and movies, advertisements for alcohol itself, empty tin cans and bottles lying in the streets - often smashed, inebriated people walking home, it becomes drilled into our brains to drink. ...read more.


However in Spain only 5% of the population has an alcohol related problem. Why? They too start drinking in their early teens ? just like us Britons ? although the difference is they are encouraged to not only drink with friends but with family too. Finally, in Italy the quickest way to lose your friend?s and neighbors? respect is to get drunk in public. Drinking on the streets is considered disrespectful. I feel we need a shift in the way we think about alcohol and the restrictions on it and this needs to be government led, by lowering the age limit for buying alcohol. If children grew up knowing what wine, beer etc tasted like, the mysticism behind it has been removed, and therefore the impulse to go out and get drunk. By lowering, not raising, the age limit there will be an almost instant change in the number of people abusing alcohol, especially in the younger generations. Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_drinking_age http://www.udetc.org/documents/Drinking_in_America.pdf http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7093143.stm Katy Horsburgh ...read more.

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