I’ve heard many people ask (or argue), “How is it that 18-year-olds can legally fight in a war, but can’t have a beer?!” And I can definitely see where they’re coming from. So why is the legal drinking age 21?

This video from wait21.org breaks down addiction and how it happens to us. Turns out that addiction can be good, or bad. It all revolves around a chemical that our body produces called “dopamine.” Take a look and then check out the 3 reasons why underage drinking is set to 21 in the United States.

  1. The average human brain isn’t fully developed until the age of 21-25
  2. Drinking underage increases your chances of becoming addicted by 40%
  3. Before the legal age was 21, students 16 to 20 were drinking and driving the most
  4. 9 out of 10 people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol started using before the age of 21

US News article states that since changing the drinking age from 18 to 21, deaths by drinking and driving have been cut in half.

I’m not about to start a debate on here. In fact, in my personal opinion, the legal drinking age doesn’t matter that much.

The students who want to drink will find a way to drink. The 21 drinking age doesn’t seem to deter the large majority of freshmen and sophomores who drink underage on campuses across the nation… not to mention how many come to campus with experience drinking from high school.

I just think it’s sad that our country wants to keep defending something that takes so many of our friends and family members from us. Yes, you have the right to do whatever you want to your body. But is the “right to” and good reason to?

For what it’s worth, those are some stats and some thoughts.


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