View Poll Results: What should the legal drinking age be?

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  • Bring back Prohibition.

    4 3.28%
  • Older than 21. Raise it even higher!

    3 2.46%
  • Leave it at 21 (in the USA).

    23 18.85%
  • 20

    3 2.46%
  • 19

    7 5.74%
  • 18

    54 44.26%
  • 17

    3 2.46%
  • 16

    4 3.28%
  • Below 16.

    4 3.28%
  • Other (please explain).

    17 13.93%
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Thread: Legal drinking age?

  1. #251
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    Re: Legal drinking age?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisL View Post
    The fact that alcohol is an addictive substance and gets you "high" kind of negates your statement.
    Alcohol can be addictive and can get you drunk. If you abuse it. If you do not, then it will not. However, how to not abuse it is a behavior that typically has to be learned; and that can be either learned through longer and more painful experience (depending on the individual) or it can be learned with instruction and less painful experience.

    Sending a teenager out into the world to be taught how to drink by their idiot friends is like teaching them to drive by tossing them the keys and wishing them good luck.

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    Re: Legal drinking age?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisL View Post
    I'm sorry, but if you believe this, you are foolish. For many teens, the world still revolves around them. They are just incapable of being an adult yet.
    Which is entirely normal...because they aren't.

    From Duke University:

    Memory Loss in Young People

    For young people, the detrimental effects of alcohol seem to outweigh any health positives. In the first human study to assess alcohol's effects on memory in young adults, researchers at Duke and the Durham VA Medical Center found that just two drinks can dampen the ability of college-age students to learn and remember new information.

    According to Duke neuropsychologist Scott Swartzwelder, PhD, alcohol disrupts a key process within the hippocampus, the portion of the brain responsible for building long-term memories, much more powerfully in the young brain than in the adult brain.

    Just as dangerous is the trouble young people can get into while under alcohol’s influence. According to another study coauthored by Swartzwelder, significant numbers of college students, especially young women, experience regular or sporadic memory “blackouts” during evenings of heavy drinking, which are associated with highly risky behaviors. These activities, such as having unprotected sexual intercourse, vandalizing property, or driving a car, could lead to serious health or legal consequences.

    “Alcohol consumption is often viewed tolerantly as a rite of passage, but the hazards it poses are too significant to be ignored,” Swartzwelder says. He and his colleagues hope that sobering study results like these will lead to more intensive education for incoming college students about the dangers of alcohol. Bottoms Up? - DukeHealth.org

    From the NIH:

    The association between alcohol use and risky behavior applies to sexual behaviors, as well. The consequences of such behaviors can include rape, transmission of diseases, unwanted pregnancies, and birth defects. Surveys of young people show an association between alcohol use and engaging in risky sexual behaviors. Among boys, 17 percent said that they were less likely to use condoms when having sex after drinking. Alcohol use also correlates with increased risk of forced sexual activity. In one study of Massachusetts teenagers, 44 percent said they were more likely to engage in sexual intercourse if they had been drinking.
    Understanding Alcohol—Information about Alcohol

    And:

    The perception of risk, risk taking, acting on impulse, and sensation-seeking behaviors are all affected by alcohol use. Among males, higher levels of drinking lead to increased risk-taking behaviors. One study revealed that among a group of adults who came to the emergency room for alcohol-related injuries, three-fourths admitted to not using seat belts. Adolescents who drink are more likely to report that they engage in risky behaviors such as swimming alone or taking someone else’s medication.

  3. #253
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    Re: Legal drinking age?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    good for you. Myself, I spent 8 years of my life directly supervising (and living with) all-told probably more than a hundred 18-20 year olds who drank regularly, in a variety of circumstances and countries from the extreme party scene (and I sincerely doubt that you have partied like infantry Marines getting stupid. People have actually died and buildings have been set on fire) to the hanging-around-and-having-a-beer bar b que. But I'm sure that you remembering 20 years ago when you were a teenager gives you a lot of insight that other people who were also teenagers at one point don't have.

    I rarely say this about a social issue; but roguenuke is right. If you treat alcohol like some kind of forbidden fruit that they must never touch... teens will grab it as hard as they can as soon as they think your back is turned. If it's not such a big deal then it's not such a big deal.
    That's not true. Plenty of people developed alcohol related problems when the drinking age was 18. It doesn't really make that much of a difference, but it's best to make some efforts to control teens and drinking.

    The fact is that teens think drinking and partying is fun. It makes you more social, and even adults seem to open up more at parties when they drink. It's only natural that younger people will overindulge.

  4. #254
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    Re: Legal drinking age?

    Quote Originally Posted by nota bene View Post
    Which is entirely normal...because they aren't.

    From Duke University:

    Memory Loss in Young People

    For young people, the detrimental effects of alcohol seem to outweigh any health positives. In the first human study to assess alcohol's effects on memory in young adults, researchers at Duke and the Durham VA Medical Center found that just two drinks can dampen the ability of college-age students to learn and remember new information.

    According to Duke neuropsychologist Scott Swartzwelder, PhD, alcohol disrupts a key process within the hippocampus, the portion of the brain responsible for building long-term memories, much more powerfully in the young brain than in the adult brain.

    Just as dangerous is the trouble young people can get into while under alcohol’s influence. According to another study coauthored by Swartzwelder, significant numbers of college students, especially young women, experience regular or sporadic memory “blackouts” during evenings of heavy drinking, which are associated with highly risky behaviors. These activities, such as having unprotected sexual intercourse, vandalizing property, or driving a car, could lead to serious health or legal consequences.

    “Alcohol consumption is often viewed tolerantly as a rite of passage, but the hazards it poses are too significant to be ignored,” Swartzwelder says. He and his colleagues hope that sobering study results like these will lead to more intensive education for incoming college students about the dangers of alcohol. Bottoms Up? - DukeHealth.org

    From the NIH:

    The association between alcohol use and risky behavior applies to sexual behaviors, as well. The consequences of such behaviors can include rape, transmission of diseases, unwanted pregnancies, and birth defects. Surveys of young people show an association between alcohol use and engaging in risky sexual behaviors. Among boys, 17 percent said that they were less likely to use condoms when having sex after drinking. Alcohol use also correlates with increased risk of forced sexual activity. In one study of Massachusetts teenagers, 44 percent said they were more likely to engage in sexual intercourse if they had been drinking.
    Understanding Alcohol—Information about Alcohol

    And:

    The perception of risk, risk taking, acting on impulse, and sensation-seeking behaviors are all affected by alcohol use. Among males, higher levels of drinking lead to increased risk-taking behaviors. One study revealed that among a group of adults who came to the emergency room for alcohol-related injuries, three-fourths admitted to not using seat belts. Adolescents who drink are more likely to report that they engage in risky behaviors such as swimming alone or taking someone else’s medication.
    Great post. These are all the things I'm trying to get people to see, but they just refuse for some reason to admit that most 18 year olds are not adults at all. They just aren't, and you aren't going to force them into being more adult-like, and introducing alcohol into the equation would do much more harm than good speaking in general.

  5. #255
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    Re: Legal drinking age?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisL View Post
    That's not true. Plenty of people developed alcohol related problems when the drinking age was 18.
    No doubt. But I notice you still are refusing to answer the basic question; do you think that teenagers will learn better lessons about alcohol at home with their parents? Or at a house-party with their idiot friends?

    The fact is that teens think drinking and partying is fun.
    Yup. And they are going to do it. But you are conflating "drinking at a party" with "extreme alcohol abuse and addiction", when those two things do not have to be connected, and are much less likely to if the teen is taught matter-of-factly how to treat alcohol at home rather than being told that alcohol is some kind of awesome Forbidden Fruit.

    It makes you more social, and even adults seem to open up more at parties when they drink. It's only natural that younger people will overindulge.
    Until they learn not to, yes. I want to speed up that process in my children, and so I intend to see to it that they begin their younger adult years already knowing how and with a good step towards developing the ability to do so.

  6. #256
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    Re: Legal drinking age?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisL View Post
    Great post. These are all the things I'm trying to get people to see, but they just refuse for some reason to admit that most 18 year olds are not adults at all. They just aren't, and you aren't going to force them into being more adult-like, and introducing alcohol into the equation would do much more harm than good speaking in general.
    I happen to agree that 18-20 year olds lack maturity relative to older populaces. However, I'm definitely going to remember this thread the next time you come into the females-in-the-infantry debates insisting that 18-20 year olds have the ability to be just as mature and professional in high-pressure environments as adult workplaces.

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    Re: Legal drinking age?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    No doubt. But I notice you still are refusing to answer the basic question; do you think that teenagers will learn better lessons about alcohol at home with their parents? Or at a house-party with their idiot friends?
    No I don't. Not necessarily because it would depend on MANY factors. Too many to predict with any kind of accuracy.

    Yup. And they are going to do it. But you are conflating "drinking at a party" with "extreme alcohol abuse and addiction", when those two things do not have to be connected, and are much less likely to if the teen is taught matter-of-factly how to treat alcohol at home rather than being told that alcohol is some kind of awesome Forbidden Fruit.
    No, I'm saying that teens are more prone to making stupid decisions, especially when you add alcohol to the mix. You are fooling yourself if you think teenagers do everything mommy and daddy tell them. Teenagers are going to listen to their "cool" friends. Lol!



    Until they learn not to, yes. I want to speed up that process in my children, and so I intend to see to it that they begin their younger adult years already knowing how and with a good step towards developing the ability to do so.
    Well, if you want to introduce your child to a poison that even adults have difficulty controlling because of it's addictive properties, then by all means, but I think it is stupid.

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    Re: Legal drinking age?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    I happen to agree that 18-20 year olds lack maturity relative to older populaces. However, I'm definitely going to remember this thread the next time you come into the females-in-the-infantry debates insisting that 18-20 year olds have the ability to be just as mature and professional in high-pressure environments as adult workplaces.
    I never said that. I said if they have the ability to conduct themselves at their regular jobs with dignity then there is no reason why they cannot conduct themselves while performing their military duties with dignity. There is no reason to act like a sex-crazed fiend because you are around the opposite sex. You CAN control yourself.

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    Re: Legal drinking age?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisL View Post
    I never said that. I said if they have the ability to conduct themselves at their regular jobs with dignity then there is no reason why they cannot conduct themselves while performing their military duties with dignity. There is no reason to act like a sex-crazed fiend because you are around the opposite sex. You CAN control yourself.
    Ah. Well that's all then. Just tell these teenagers whom we are allowing to have alcohol to control themselves, and the problem is solved.

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    Re: Legal drinking age?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisL View Post
    No I don't. Not necessarily because it would depend on MANY factors. Too many to predict with any kind of accuracy.
    So you think that his fellow teenagers are more likely to be an example to my child of moderation and maturity than I am?

    No, I'm saying that teens are more prone to making stupid decisions, especially when you add alcohol to the mix.
    Agreed.

    You are fooling yourself if you think teenagers do everything mommy and daddy tell them.
    I have never claimed so - in fact, I am agreeing with you that teenagers have a tendency to do what mommy and daddy tell them not to do. SO, if that includes "Don't Touch Alcohol", then they are going to go out and have a great time touching as much alcohol as they can. You have made getting drunk more attractive to them through your policy, not less.

    Well, if you want to introduce your child to a poison that even adults have difficulty controlling because of it's addictive properties, then by all means, but I think it is stupid.
    I don't have a problem with it, and since - as you point out - my child is pretty much guaranteed to run into it, I intend to make sure that I do what I can to see that he doesn't have a problem with it, either. I think, given that - as you point out - my child is pretty much guaranteed to run into it, not doing so in the vain hope that either he will obey the charge to never touch the stuff or learn how to do so responsibly from fellow stupid teengers is what is stupid. Teenagers are in greater actual danger from stupid decisions involving cars. That doesn't mean that I am going to foolishly forbid my teenager to learn to drive or get into cars, it means I'm going to invest the time and effort into ensuring that he learns how to drive well and safely.

    If you are a recovering alcoholic and that colors your analysis, then I am truly sorry, and I truly wish you only the very best of success in your recovery. But that does not mean that everyone or even the majority or even a large minority of people who drink will become addicts.

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