Australians Want to Increase Legal Drinking Age
According to a new survey conducted by Adelaidenow the majority of Australians support an increase in the legal drinking age. According to the survey 1 in 3 people agree that authorities should lift the legal drinking age from 18 to 21.
Almost half of the respondents to the survey believed that 18 was the right age to start drinking but about 37 per cent felt that 21 was a more suitable age after medical experts began to produce more evidence for the cause. Medical groups and other experts say there is growing evidence that 21 should be the new legal drinking age.
A poll was conducted last month after the Australian Medical Association advocated for an increase in the legal drinking age to 25. This according to the AMA is the correct age to start drinking becomes this is the age when the brain is fully developed especially considering the large number of alcohol fuelled incidents we have been experiencing recently.
More and more Australians are looking for answers to tackle the problems that alcohol abuse is causing in society and increase in alcohol fuelled crime. In particular people are becoming aware of the damage the alcohol can do to young brains.
The survey was highlighted in this post on Adelaidenow.com.au:
“The reality is the fights, the accidents and the damage which alcohol causes.”
The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education chief executive Michael Thorn said lifting the drinking age would reduce alcohol-related harm.
“Increasingly, the medical research is showing that the brain continues to develop until around the mid-20s,” Mr Thorn said. “From a rational perspective, there is a case particularly with young men for putting off people consuming alcohol until as late as possible.”
He said car accidents, violence and other related risk-taking behaviours would be reduced if the drinking age was changed. It would also reduce the likelihood of alcohol addiction.
While there was support to lift the drinking age, respondents felt 18 was the best age to start driving a car without supervision (50.9 per cent), voting (57.4 per cent) and serving in the armed forces (46.9 per cent).
But 57.5 per cent of respondents believed children should live at home until they were 21-24. The survey found the best age for marriage (59.9 per cent), to have children (50.7 per cent) and to buy your first home (54 per cent) was 25-29.
Numerous university studies have proven that alcohol’s effect on the teenage brain can hamper its development and for this reason alcohol use is best postponed for as long aspossible in the late teenage and early adult years.
According to a study by Sydney University:
The frontal lobes of the brain underpin those major adult functionsrelated to complex thought and decision and inhibition of more childlikeor impulsive behaviours. These parts of the brain undergo theirfinal critical phase of development throughout adolescence and theearly adult period. While there is considerable individual variation inthis process, it appears to continue well into the third decade of life(age 22-25 years) and may be particularly prolonged in young men;
Perhaps the issue of the legal drinking age is something that warrants more attention. Another important factor to consider is the amount of alcohol fuelled violence and crime actually committed by youngsters between 18 and 21, in order to determine whether increasing the legal drinking age is a feasible idea to combat the alcohol fuelled violence in Oz.