Why Alcohol Is Prohibited to Minors (a Developmental and Biological Approach)

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Why alcohol is prohibited to people under the age of 18 in South Africa Introduction Alcohol is a very big part of our society today. It is consumed regularly by minors all over South Africa and to a large majority of people this is not seen as a very big problem because not many people are aware of the effects alcohol has biologically and developmentally on adolescent brains, as well as the effect it has on the brain of an adult or even more so on the brain of a foetus. The promotion of liquor in South Africa The promotion of alcohol is generally aimed at young people. Most adverts intend on portraying a “good time”, they make it look like alcohol is what you need to be popular, make friends, become confident and out spoken and to all together have fun. This portrayal relates to adolescent during their identity crisis. While they are trying to be accepted by those around them, alcohol seems like the key they need to being popular and having fun. South African Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Elizabeth Thabethe, argued on the 8th March 2012 that "It is not right to promote liquor as we are doing in South Africa" especially when the advertising of alcohol is aimed at young people, this is because what the adverts fail to tell you is the terrible effects alcohol has on the brain biologically and developmentally. The biological effects of alcohol on the brain The biological effects of alcohol on the brain are extensive. The brain is the control Centre, it controls muscle movement, thought processes and repertory systems by using chemical and electrical signals called neurotransmitters (Tompson, 1997). The consumption of alcohol interferes with these important signals. When alcohol reaches the synapse, normal neurotransmitters are affected (Tompson, 1997), this destroys brain cells and contrary to most cells in the body, brain cells do not regenerate
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