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Ethics and Underage Drinking

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Underage Drinking in Contemporary American Society Alcohol is the drug of choice among youth. Many young people are experiencing the consequences of drinking too much, at too early an age. As a result, underage drinking is a leading public health problem in this country. Each year, approximately 5,000 young people under the age of 21 die as a result of underage drinking; this includes about 2,000 deaths from car crashes, 1,500 as a result of homicides, 300 from suicide, and hundreds more from other injuries such as falls, burns, and drownings. Yet drinking continues to be widespread among adolescents, as shown by nationwide surveys as well as studies in smaller populations. According to data from a 2005 study, three-fourths of 12th graders, more than two-thirds of 10th graders, and about two in every five 8th graders have consumed alcohol. And when youth drink they tend to drink intensively, often consuming four to five drinks at one time. Data also shows that 11 percent of 8th graders, 22 percent of 10th graders, and 29 percent of 12th graders had engaged in "binge" drinking within the past two weeks. ...read more.


However this argument assumes that underrage drinking is an attack against our country, for by violating the laws of the nation, you are in fact, violating the nation. But, drinking laws are not always strongly enforced by authorities, which weakens the argument against drinking in the categorical imperative, even though it is believed that a boost of enforcement would cause fewer alchohol related problems. Because underage drinking laws are not so strongly enforced, it does not technically apply as an ethical generalization. However, because of the amount of social problems, negative impacts drinking has on an adolescent body, and a lack of responsibility held by some of my peers, underage drinking should not be done by anyone. There are many strong arguments as to why the legal drinking age should be rolled back to eighteen. For example, during prohibition a simmilar problem and generalization arose; the officers who were to enforce prohibition often engaged in taking a drink themselves, as can be witnessed in the film the Untouchables. ...read more.


But if we are to live in a successful democratic nation like the United States of America, how can we argue for the virtues of having a Natty Ice at 20 years old? Most of my peers would argue that the greater good comes above many things; I am simply arguing in regards to drinking, it comes before freedom. It is time for responsible students to lead by example, and refrain from drinking Today, alcohol is widely available and aggressively promoted throughout society. And alcohol use continues to be regarded, by many people, as a normal part of growing up. Yet underage drinking is dangerous, not only for the drinker but also for society, as evident by the number of alcohol-related car crashes, homicides, suicides, and other injuries. People who begin drinking early in life run the risk of developing serious alcohol problems, including alcoholism, later in life. They also are at greater risk for a variety of negative consequences, including sexual activity and poor performance in school. But because it is in fact a law of the land, it must be followed by everyone, no matter the level of responsibility the person has. ...read more.

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