As a rule, the legislature and morality do not coincide with each other and tend to regulate different spheres of the social life. Nevertheless, some cases can be regarded, from the point of view of morality and law, as well. This is, for instance, the issue of underage drinking, which presents a sharp social problem, nowadays. The solution of the problem consists in the cooperation of the moral and legal methods, aiming at the prevention of underage drinking and establishment of clear regulations of the issue. This paper is going to analyze the problem of the underage drinking, identify the possible solutions to the existed issue, explain their effectiveness and come up with the relevant conclusion about the solutions for the existed problem.
Topicality of the Problem of Underage Drinking
Nowadays, the issue of underage drinking has become a significant problem, which negatively affects many spheres of the social life. In the first turn, underage drinking and unconscious consumption of alcohol by youth lead to the increase of car crashes and road accidents. The numerous researches claim that underage drinking is one of the most frequent causes of the accidents. The study, conducted by A. Dills, informs that 51% of accidents are caused by the alcohol consumption by young people (Dills 241). Obviously, such a notorious statistics calls for the immediate solutions and prevention measures.
Secondly, the underage drinking results in the deterioration of health conditions of the young generation. The alcohol consumption can strongly damage the physical and mental health of the teenagers and youngsters, leading to the chronical diseases and disorders. Particularly, the underage drinking leads to the reduction of the mental processes’ productivity, quality of thinking and attention and speed of mnemonic capacities. In addition, the alcohol presents a threat to the normal functioning of the liver, cardio-vascular system and deterioration of vision and coordination (Gruenewald 248). In other words, the problem of the underage drinking influences the whole society by reducing its quality of life and health.
Finally, it is essential to mention about the link between underage drinking and criminal activities. The researches show that alcohol consumption is one of the major reasons of the juvenile delinquency. Moreover, underage drinking significantly increases the level of crimes, committed by the young people (Carpenter, and Dobkin 291). In these terms, the problem threatens the safety and security of the society and involves the criminal justice ad legislature, as well.
Overall, the problem of underage drinking affects all social groups and classes. Obviously, the target group is the youth, who is unable to control the level of alcohol consumption and treat this problem responsibly and adequately. However, the problem also affects the other group of society, since it threatens the security and quality of health of the young generations. Moreover, the negative consequences of the alcohol consumption by youth can lead to the serious accidents and health disorders. Therefore, the problem demands effective management and regulation, on the governmental level.
Possible Solutions for the Issue of Underage Drinking
The solution for the existed problem may be found in the morality values and standards. The matter is that social and individual morality condemns the inappropriate behavior and actions, such as crimes, excessive consumption of alcohol, etc. Therefore, the moral regulations can serve as a sufficient stimulus for the prevention of the underage drinking. Moreover, following the moral standards of moderation, self-reliance and sobriety can help to eliminate the underage drinking among teenagers and young people.
Moreover, the families can provide solid support to the questions of morality and teach young generations to avoid alcohol consumption for the sake of safety and health. In this light, the morality serves as the linking element between the generations, which comprises of the traditions, social values and interests. In addition, the majority of religions, which form the background of social morality, condemn or prohibit the alcohol consumption and encourage youth to lead a healthy way of life. Therefore, the religious and traditional values can be viewed as a potential solution of the underage drinking.
The other solution for the existed problem consists in the change of perception of the alcohol. It is a common knowledge that some countries (France, Italy, Greece) regard alcohol as an essential unit of the daily ratio (Sharma, Stephen, and Brownell 240). Those nations highly evaluate the quality of wines and use them, in their national cuisines. This experience may help to eliminate the number of unconscious alcohol consumption by young people and form a new attitude toward alcohol, in general.
Furthermore, another solution is connected with the adoption of the legal regulations and establishment of the minimum drinking age of 21. Many countries have already implemented such laws and orders to prevent the level of underage drinking, on the legal level. It means that young people under the age of 21 are legally prohibited to consume alcohol, and the break of this law presupposes the corresponding punishment and responsibility (Carpenter, and Dobkin 321). The practice shows that this method of prevention appears to be successful and effective, since it considerably assists in reducing the number of cases of underage drinking (Hingson 45). Moreover, the establishment of legal regulations provides a great stimulus to the young people to avoid the alcohol consumption for the sake of individual security and lawfulness.
Effectiveness of the Suggested Solutions
In fact, every solution of the underage drinking has chances for success. It is essential to admit that the solution should adapt to the individual peculiarities and characteristics of every society to guarantee the most fruitful result. Nevertheless, the legal solution and introduction of the minimum drinking age of 21 seems to be the most effective preventive measure. To a great extent, it combines the suggestions and ideas of other solutions and rely on the official authorities to guarantee justice and rightness of the actions.
To start with, the establishment of the minimum drinking age of 21 presents a great level of responsibility (Carpenter, and Dobkin 300). In the opposition to morality, which does not provide any serious punishment for breaking the rule, the legal regulation leads to the relevant penalties and fines. Therefore, it is possible to conclude that the stimulus, it provides to the young people, is much bigger, in comparison with the morality issues. Analogically, the adoption of the laws, regulating the underage drinking, makes young people more aware of the negative consequences of the alcohol consumption and legal implications of the problem. In these terms, establishment of a proper law provides all the necessary regulations and orders for prevention of underage drinking, on the level of legislature.
Secondly, the introduction of the minimum drinking age of 21 increases the legal security of the entire society. For instance, it presupposes the existence of norms and standards, which regulate the criminal liability for the accidents and crimes, committed under the influence of alcohol. Correspondingly, such laws protect the society from the thoughtless actions of the young people and carelessness, in terms of morality and social behavior. Neither morality nor adoption of the foreign cultures contributes to the same results, as the legal regulations do. Generally, the adoption of the minimum drinking age of 21 is an important step toward the maintenance of the civil safety and reduction of criminal activities.
Furthermore, the acceptance of laws will limit the distribution and selling of the alcohol to the young people. In other words, it will influence the whole alcohol industry and make the alcohol drinks less available for the teenagers and young people. Obviously, this strategy will deprive the youth of capacity to buy the alcohol without the control of adults. The same is true in relations to the broadcasting of alcohol advertisements, in the media. The government is capable of restricting the order of promoting alcohol, in the public places (Stockwell, et al 912). As a result, the demand of alcohol will decrease and reduce the level of its consumption by the young people. Evidently, the influence of morality of foreign practices is not sufficient to guarantee the same outcomes. Therefore, the introduction of the minimum drinking age of 21 is the most productive solution, which involves the legal regulations, provides great influence and guarantee high achievements, in the fight against underage drinking.
To sum up, the problem of the underage drinking is of high topicality, in the contemporary society. It influences many spheres of the social life and leads to numerous negative consequences, among which the deterioration of health conditions, increase of accidents and juvenile delinquency should be mentioned. The solutions of the problem may include the influence of the morality, introduction of the foreign practices and cultures or adoption of the relevant legal rules and orders. After a thorough analysis of the suggested solutions, it is possible to conclude that the adoption of the minimum drinking age of 21 is the most effective way of eliminating the underage drinking. This solution provides strict regulations, corresponding liability and order of selling and promoting the alcohol products. Therefore, the establishment of the minimum drinking age is a significant step to the reduction of the cases of underage drinking.