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Should the legal age for alcohol purchase be raised to 21?

May 31, 2014  by 21bethere

Harmful alcohol consumption is a prevention priority in Australia. Frequent or episodic binge drinking (consuming five or more standard drinks on a single occasion) is of specific concern among youth because of their neurobiological vulnerability to the effects of alcohol. There is increasing evidence that key aspects of brain and related neurocognitive development continue into early adulthood. Available evidence associates short- and longer-term cognitive impairment during the postpubertal and early adult years with an earlier age-of-onset of harmful alcohol consumption.1 Although ethical limitations preclude human experimental trials, there is emerging neuropsychological and brain-imaging evidence associating binge drinking or persistent high levels of alcohol use with adverse impacts on brain development (notably of the frontal lobe and frontal–striatal circuits) in young people…. Read more at

John W Toumbourou, Kypros Kypri, Sandra C Jones and Ian B Hickie