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DRINKING AGE. Universidad Autonoma de Chiriqui Faculty of Humanities School of English Title: DRINKING AGE Professor: Olda Cano By: Emperatriz A. Sanchez Elibeth Acosta Karina Jimenez 4 th Year Morning Session Date: Friday, June 25 th , 2010. INTRODUCTION.

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Universidad Autonoma de Chiriqui

Faculty of Humanities

School of English




Olda Cano


Emperatriz A. Sanchez

Elibeth Acosta

Karina Jimenez

4th Year

Morning Session


Friday, June 25th, 2010

  • Alcohol is a drug, as surely as cocaine and marijuana are, and for many of our country's young people, alcohol is the number one drug of choice. In fact, teens use alcohol more frequently and heavily than all other illicit drugs combined. While some parents may feel relieved that their teen is "only" drinking, it's important to remember that alcohol is a powerful, mood-altering drug.
underage drinking
Underage Drinking
  • Why adolescents drink
  • What are the risks
  • Legal Drinking age and how heavy is the law enforced
  • Can be underage Prevent

Why adolescents drink

    • Alcohol is the drug of choice among youth. Many young people are experiencing the consequences of drinking too much, at too early age. As a result, underage drinking is a leading public health problem in many countries.

Despitecross-cultural variations, the central factremainsthat in allcultureswhere alcohol isused, drinkingisanessentialelement of celebration. Thisrequiresexplanation: whyshould alcohol, ratherthananyothersubstance, bethe universal symbol of festivity? Theanswerrequiresanunderstanding of theunderlying social functions of celebration, and theirrelationtothesymbolic and pharmacologicalproperties of alcohol.


What are the risks

Studies show that young people who drink

heavily may put themselves at risk for a range of

potential health problems.

  • Brain Effects: A significant impact on long-term thinking and memory skills.
  • Liver Effects: Elevated liver enzymes, indicating some degree of liver damage, have been found in some adolescents who drink alcohol.
  • Growth and Endocrine Effects: hormonal changes, Drinking alcohol during this period of rapid growth and development (i.e., prior to or during puberty) may upset the critical hormonal balance necessary for normal development of organs, muscles, and bones.

Not only can alcohol affect the mind and body in unpredictable ways, but teens lack the judgment and coping skills to handle alcohol wisely. Some of the catastrophic results of teen drinking include:

  • Significant brain development continues through adolescents. A recent study by the National Institute of Health presents the first concrete evidence that protracted, heavy alcohol use can impair brain function in adolescents, causing, in many cases, irreversible damage.
  • Alcohol-related traffic accidents are a major cause of death and disability among teens. Alcohol use also is linked with the deaths of young people by drowning, fire, suicide and homicide.

Teens who use alcohol are more likely to become sexually active at earlier ages, to have sexual intercourse more often, and to have unprotected sex more than teens who do not drink.

  • Young people who drink are more likely than others to be victims of violent crime, including rape, aggravated assault, and robbery.
  • Teens who drink are more likely to have problems with school work and school conduct.
  • An individual who begins drinking as a young teen is four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than someone who waits until adulthood to use alcohol.
legal drinking age
Legal Drinking age
  • Enforcement of the law in USA
    • Special difficulties enforcing the MLDA in the college setting
    • Many campuses are surrounded by a concentration of bars and clubs that cater to college students.
    • The MLDA is weakly and unevenly enforced, and the availability and use of high-quality fake IDs is widespread.
  • Enforcement of the law in Panama
    • Difficulties enforcing the MLDA in all areas
    • Almost all places sell alcohol without requesting IDs unless you enter a club or casino.
  • USA drinking age
    • Minimum legal purchase and drinking age is 21 in most of the states and others 18
  • Panama drinking age
    • Minimum legal purchase and drinking age is 18 in all the country
consequences of adolescent alcohol use
Consequences of Adolescent Alcohol Use
  • Drinking and Driving: cause fatal crashes
  • Homicides and suicides: emotional disorders
  • Sexual behavior: adolescents suggest that alcohol use is associated with risky sexual behavior and increased vulnerability to coercive sexual activity.


    • School strategies
      • Developmentally appropriate information about drugs, including information on the short-term effects and long-term consequences of their use.
    • Extracurricular strategies
      • Better development of life skills
      • Decreased involvement in risky behaviors, such as drug use
    • Family Strategies
      • Monitoring children's activities during adolescence
      • Strengthening family bonding.
    • Policy Strategies
      • Increasing the Minimum Legal Drinking Age
      • Enforcement of Laws

Instead of focusing on age, should consider:

  • Promoting consistence policy across different levels
  • Promote Responsible drinking
  • Engaging parents, schools, communities, government, social systems, and youth in the process
  • Promoting understanding of underage drinking across environmental, ethnic, cultural, and gender differences
  • Other related issues: teen driving and transportation