Lower age to 20

Shahab Khan, Opinions Columnist

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.

I do not care if people go to bars underaged.

American culture has made underage drinking a rite of passage for high schoolers and college freshmen. With that being said, underage drinking is a public health crisis because it leads to a higher risk of alcohol dependency.

Therefore, it would be wise to prevent anyone under the age of 20 from entering a bar past 10 p.m.

When students are educated about the dangers of underage drinking, the medical effects of alcohol are rarely contextualized, thus leading to a false belief that alcohol is a benign substance.

The National Library of Medicine found that excessive alcohol consumption correlates with higher rates of violent antisocial behavior and suicide. Recently, medical professionals who examined the effects of alcohol on heavy drinkers found that alcohol caused worse health outcomes than heroin.

Underage drinkers are more likely to develop the habits that will put them on course to become alcoholics. This is because they are more likely to engage in binge drinking compared to drinkers who waited until they were older.

When we are teenagers, our brains are still maturing, and we are not able to make the most informed decisions regarding our health. As a result, when underaged individuals begin to drink, they tend to binge drink, thus making them susceptible to developing an addiction.

Preventing teenagers from entering a bar — where alcohol is accessible and everywhere — is important if we want to guarantee better life outcomes.