The Government is considering raising the legal age for buying and consuming alcohol from 18 to 21 years, saying that the current policy has failed to contain alcohol abuse among teenagers. This was discussed by the Unity Club members recently who suggested that the legal drinking age be raised owing to the fact that high numbers of the country’s youth are falling for alcohol and drugs at a tender age. According to statistics from Ndera Neuro-Psychiatric Teaching Hospital, in 2021/2022, 96,357 mental health patients were received by the hospital, and of these, 70 per cent are youth with issues induced by alcohol and drugs. Speaking to the New Times, Sam Nkurunziza, the headmaster of Kagarama Secondary School, said that it is a good idea to limit young people to consume alcohol, but without strict policies, it cannot be effective. “Young people nowadays start working at a young age, which means they start earning money when they are still young. Mobilisations should start at a young age so that children grow up knowing the dangers of alcohol,” he said. The director of King David Academy, Annet Mutamuliza, said raising the age is not the solution since there are reasons why young people are consuming alcohol. She therefore recommended tackling this when a child is still young. Mutamuliza however supports the idea of taking the drinking age to 21, noting that it will help prevent addictions. “Children don't understand what they want but by 21, a child is at least starting to mature. For families that believe in God, teaching their children in that line also helps. Javira Akampurira, a teacher at Star School, said There is too much parental negligence around this issue; parents take it openly at home which indirectly encourages children to take it. We are in a modern society but still, we need to decide what’s best for us and our children, he said.