Norah Kettmann
Mrs. Moses
English I
18 October 2018

Underage Drinking
Did you know that 4,700 teens die from underage drinking each year, which is more than the deaths of all the illegal drugs combined? Underage drinking is a very important issue because it affects all of us. When people under the age of 21 drink they are damaging their brain cells. If their brain cells are damaged then what will be the world’s future? A bunch of brain-dead people roaming the earth? Underage drinking can alter your performance long-term, damage brain cells, and raise the amount of people in drunk driving incidents.
First , underage drinking can alter your performance long term. Some teens think “Oh, if I drink it will only affect me for a short while tonight and maybe the next morning. That thinking is not safe. When people drink it alters you each time. Alcohol reduces brain functions such as motor activity. When alcohol affects this part it will alter your performance at school and other activities. This will result in memory problems and not being able to focus. When students drink, they are lowering their ability to perform well in a sport or during an exam. Something even more dangerous is binge drinking. Binge drinking is the consumption of an excessive amount of alcohol in a short period of time. Almost 38% of college students between the age of 18 and 22 participate in binge drinking. This kind of drinking is even worse because it is very dangerous to consume that large of an amount is a short amount of time. This will lower your ability to perform well even more so.
Second, underage drinking raises the amount of people in drunk driving incidents. The number of DUI (driving under the influence) incidents would be way higher if the drinking age was lowered to 18. When students drink underage, it is most likely at a college party. After the party, the students will drive home which is not safe because they could be under the influence of alcohol. When adults drink, they will not be at a college party so they will not have to drive home. This lowers the amount of adults drunk driving. This is not the case with college students who drink underage at a party because they will drive home. Drinking and driving is strongly related to people under the age of 25. According to M.A.D.D. (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), in 2010 the highest drunk driving rates were the ages 21 to 25 , and 18 to 20. After age 25, the drunk driving rates go down substantially (Nagin).
Finally, underage drinking damages brain cells in brains that aren’t fully developed. People whose brains aren’t fully developed will be affected more so than people with fully matured brains. This damage is more likely with binge drinking. The alcohol is not all filtered because of the large amounts. The alcohol that is not filtered by the liver will eventually spread to other parts of your body such as the brain. The parts of the brain most affected by underage drinking include the parts that control memory, speech, movement and judgement. These parts are more affected when the people who drink is under the age of 25 because the brain is not fully developed until that age (University Wire) . Scientists speculate that alcohol alters cell membranes. The cell membranes job is to regulate what goes in and out of a cell. Alcohol might disrupt cell membranes throughout our body, making them porous (Sussex Publishers).
In conclusion, underage drinking is not good because it can alter your performance long-term, damage brain cells in premature brains, and increase the amount of people involved in drunk driving incidents. People under the age of 21 should be focusing on their studies and not be wasting their time “getting wasted” because it will only hurt them in the long run. The late teens and early twenties are important years were leadership and the community and learning information for the future should be the sole focus. Alcohol does nothing but distract from that purpose. As one article states, “Yes, you can go to war, and you can vote — but that doesn’t mean you’re ready to drink” (Nagin).

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Statistic (attention getter, opening sentence)
Internal citations
Sources on Works Cited page

Works Cited:
Fox, Emily. “Lowering the Drinking Age can Ultimately Lower Student Success.” University Wire, 13 Sep. 2016. SIRS Issues Researcher,

Nagin, Matt. “Top 3 Reasons Why the Drinking Age Should Not Be Lowered to 18.” Mic, Mic Network Inc., 25 Oct. 2015,

“Your Brain on Alcohol.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers,

“Drinking Age is 21 for a Reason.” University Wire, 16 Apr. 2016. SIRS Issues Researcher,


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