Raise drinking age to 21

Alcohol makes youth vulnerable to being victims of crimes, as well as criminals themselves, says the writer.
Alcohol makes youth vulnerable to being victims of crimes, as well as criminals themselves, says the writer.PHOTO: ST FILE

Singapore is facing complex problems with alcohol, such as an increase in fatalities caused by drink-driving as well as and public nuisance and fights where alcohol is the main cause.

However, it does not seem like these problems are being addressed properly.

In my 12 years of education, I have neither had any educational talks in school regarding the use of alcohol nor seen advertisements in Singapore discouraging alcohol abuse.

Alcohol makes youth vulnerable not only to being victims of crimes, but also to being criminals themselves.

In addition, alcohol abuse among the young can lead to long-term repercussions, such as brain-structure development problems which can cause impulsiveness and a lack of coordination, as well as making them more susceptible to other types of addiction.

I hope the authorities will step up efforts to educate youth on the dangers of alcohol abuse by having more talks and starting an alcohol-cessation programme so that youth can seek help promptly. I also hope that the authorities will consider raising the legal drinking age from 18 to 21, and step up enforcement efforts to crack down on underage drinking.

I have heard many instances of underage people being able to drink at bars and purchase alcohol at different stores without being asked for identification. This is worrying as it proves how easy it is for underage youth to obtain alcohol illegally.

Wee Yan Loong,18

Polytechnic student

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 04, 2019, with the headline 'Raise drinking age to 21'. Print Edition | Subscribe