Take serious look at raising drinking age for alcohol

We should seriously consider raising the legal age for drinking to 21, as suggested by Mr Wee Yan Loong (Consider raising legal drinking age; June 18).

This should be augmented with education campaigns to get the young and the public to understand the adverse impact alcohol has on the brain.

Research shows that the most rapid brain development happens between the ages of 12 and 25.

This means that allowing drinking at age 18 has a potential adverse effect on the growth and future of our young adults.

Research shows that young people who begin drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin drinking at the age of 21.

It works on the brain in subtle ways. Peer pressure, euphoria of being macho, and binge drinking for competition can slowly encourage dependence and addiction.

Research also shows that alcohol is a stepping stone to the use of heavier drugs. If some succumb to this, they can then become a further menace to society.

Alcohol is widely acknowledged as the world's most dangerous drug, considering the harm it causes to drinkers, their friends, families and society in general.

Raising the legal age for drinking to 21 may help us reduce some of the ill effects and build a more healthy and resilient young adult population.

Ram Narain Dubey