According to a survey done by alcohol.org 1 in 5 Michigan parents feel the legal drinking age should be lowered from 21. The survey of 3,090 Michigan parents also revealed that those same parents would allow their child to have their first drink at age 19.

Large alcoholic induced accidents prompted the National Minimum Drinking Age Act to raise the legal drinking age to 21 back in the 1970's. Since then many parents believe stronger education about the effects of alcohol and supervised drinking under parents watchful eyes would better serve young drinkers, plus save them from long term effects once they do reach the legal drinking age. It may even reduce the number of episodes of underage binge drinking and the fear of reporting alcoholic related accidents because of being underaged.

“Alcohol misuse far exceeds cigarettes and marijuana among adolescents, and has been a serious public health issue for more than a decade,” said Denise Dunn, Executive Director at Desert Hope Treatment Center and spokesperson for Alcohol.org. “Assaults, motor vehicle accidents and even brain damage can occur in underage drinkers. Not only is alcohol harmful to the developing brain, but research shows that there is a link between drinking at an early age and the correlation of Alcohol Use Disorder. Unfortunately, alcohol is easily attainable. Parents who suspect their child may be drinking or notice signs of alcohol use can utilize a multitude of online resources available at no cost to address the situation.”

There are pros and cons to lowering the legal drinking age. Parents playing a more active roll in the education of responsible drinking can help the child drink more responsible in adulthood but medical specialist might disagree stating that the brain is still developing even into the early twenties.

Are you in favor of lowering the legal drinking age?

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