Last updated on: 10/24/2011 | Author: ProCon.org

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Biography

Position:
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should the Drinking Age Be Lowered from 21 to a Younger Age?"
Reasoning:

“Alcohol is the drug of choice among America’s adolescents, used by more young people than tobacco or illicit drugs… [T]here are 10.1 million underage drinkers in the United States… 39% of current 8th graders, 58% of 10th graders, 72% of 12th graders, and 85% of college students have tried alcohol.

Particularly worrisome among adolescents is the high prevalence of binge drinking… Underage drinkers consume, on average, 4 to 5 drinks per occasion about 5 times a month. By comparison, drinkers age 26 and older consume 2 to 3 drinks per occasion, about 9 times a month. Underage drinking is a leading contributor to death from injuries, which are the main cause of death for people under age 21. Each year, approximately 5,000 persons under the age of 21 die from causes related to underage drinking. These deaths include about 1,600 homicides and 300 suicides.

Alcohol also plays a significant role in risky sexual behavior and increases the risk of physical and sexual assault. Among college students under age 21, 50,000 experience alcohol-related date rape, and 43,000 are injured by another student who has been drinking.”

“Underage Drinking,” report.nih.gov (accessed Oct. 14, 2011)

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
Organizations/VIPs/Others
Individuals and organizations that do not fit into the other star categories.
Description:

“NIH [National Institutes of Health] is the nation’s medical research agency – making important medical discoveries that improve health and save lives.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting medical research.

Helping to lead the way toward important medical discoveries that improve people’s health and save lives, NIH scientists investigate ways to prevent disease as well as the causes, treatments, and even cures for common and rare diseases.

Composed of 27 Institutes and Centers, the NIH provides leadership and financial support to researchers in every state and throughout the world.

For over a century, the National Institutes of Health has played an important role in improving the health of the nation. The NIH traces its roots to 1887 with the creation of the Laboratory of Hygiene at the Marine Hospital in Staten Island, NY.”

nih.gov (accessed Oct. 24, 2011)

Mission:

“NIH is the steward of medical and behavioral research for the Nation. Its mission is science in pursuit of fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to extend healthy life and reduce the burdens of illness and disability.

The goals of the agency are as follows:

1. Foster fundamental creative discoveries, innovative research strategies, and their applications as a basis to advance significantly the Nation’s capacity to protect and improve health;
2. develop, maintain, and renew scientific human and physical resources that will assure the Nation’s capability to prevent disease;
3. expand the knowledge base in medical and associated sciences in order to enhance the Nation’s economic well-being and ensure a continued high return on the public investment in research; and
4. exemplify and promote the highest level of scientific integrity, public accountability, and social responsibility in the conduct of science.”

nih.gov (accessed Oct. 24, 2011)

Other:
Government Agency
Contact Info:
Phone
301-496-4000
Email
NIHinfo@od.nih.gov
Website
nih.gov
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Should the Drinking Age Be Lowered from 21 to a Younger Age?