Alcohol

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Alcohol use during pregnancy can cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs), which are physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities that last a lifetime. FASD is !00% preventable. 

The effect was almost immediate. Alcohol-related traffic fatalities increased dramatically. Highway deaths not only increased in the states where the drinking age was lower but also in the states that bordered those states.

 

That's when Congress stepped in and mandated a nationwide legal drinking age of 21 by threatening to withhold federal highway funding to those states that did not increase the drinking age.

 

The higher legal drinking age immediately prompted a decrease in underage drinking and a decrease in drinking and driving as well as alcohol-related highway fatalities.

 

The legal drinking age no doubt had an effect in others areas where underage drinking can result in problems, including:

 

  • Sexual Behavior: Underage drinking is linked not only to increased risky sexual behavior but also increased vulnerability to coerced sex. Adolescents who drink are more likely to have sex before age 16, more likely to have sex while they are drinking and less likely to practice safe sex after drinking.
  • Risky Behavior and Victimization: Alcohol use among 8th and 10th graders has been found to increase both risky behavior and victimization. This is particularly true for 8th-grade students.
  • Puberty and Bone Growth: If studies conducted with laboratory animals are an indication, heavy alcohol consumption in adolescents can delay puberty, slow bone growth, and result in weaker bones.

 

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