‘Will Increasing Alcohol Availability by Lowering the Minimum Legal Drinking Age Decrease Drinking and Related Consequences among Youth?’ is an article by Henry Wechsler and Toben Nelson that was published in the American Journal of Public Health in 2010. These two authors’ aim was to find out whether reducing the minimum legal drinking age among the youth would help in reducing the observed increase in underage drinking. “ … during the intervening 25 years there have been periodic efforts to lower the minimum legal drinking age…..” (Wechsler and Nelson 986). The two authors have used different styles to come up with an essay that is well researched and presented. Some of these styles include the use of evidence, research, and use of current trends in drinking all presented in a manner that depicts a well thought and organized piece of work.
Henry and Toben begin their essay by trying to convince the audience of the many consequences brought about by alcohol use, which can bring about considerable health challenges. The authors also introduce the audience to the legal minimum drinking age in the U.S, which is 21 years. This technique is used to help prepare the readers of the subject of the article. Further in the introductory paragraph, the authors introduce the audience to the third issue of the article; the debate of reducing the minimum drinking age to 18. With this technique, the reader is able to follow on what the article is all about. The flow of the article is as follows; drinking has several indicated health problems, drinking among the youth is high, increasing the availability of alcohol to the youth could help in reducing alcohol consumption, this can be achieved through reducing the minimum drinking age to 18 years.
This technique of introducing the whole scene or subject of the essay to the audience at once is a great way of capturing the attention of the readers, and it also gives the readers the background information of what the article is going to be about. The authors go on to put some weight on the matter by presenting some evidence of how harmful alcohol consumption is to the youth, “alcohol consumption is the third leading cause of death in the united States….” (Wechsler and Nelson 986). This shows the readers how grave the matter is and how something needs to be done to reduce these problems. The authors go on to name some of the adverse health consequences as well as social ones that are related to drinking. Some of these include things like sexually transmitted diseases, assault and violence, crime, vandalism, substance abuse, unintended pregnancies, and other related high risk behaviors. This is also another technique the author is using to show how serious the problem of drinking is.
Shortly after capturing the interest of the readers through such weighty matters, the authors relay some information on how most states came to have the legal drinking age as 21. In the article, the authors state that the reason why the legal drinking age was raised to 21 years from 18 years was because of the increased alcohol related road accidents especially among the youth aged between 18 and 20. By stating this, the authors kind of create a dilemma for the reader. This is because they have stated that younger drinking adults cause more traffic fatalities than the other age groups and yet they are suggesting that the legal drinking age should be lowered. This further intrigues the readers and urges them to read on. Further down the article, the authors discuss some of the trends observed in the US of alcohol consumption.
Once again, the authors use several sources to show that alcohol consumption among the youth aged 18 to 20 has decreased tremendously since the 1980s, while alcohol consumption among the youth aged 21 to 24 has been more gradual than consistent. This is a technique of comparison that the authors use to show a trend. In another compare and contrast technique, the authors indicate that the college attending youths, even those aged between 18 and 20, consume more alcohol than those who do not attend college. In yet another contrast and compare technique, the authors show that alcohol consumption also vary depending on colleges. They indicate that those colleges with easy access to alcohol drink more than those who do not have such access. The authors go on to point out that though the law requires that college administrators enforce the minimum legal drinking age law, the enforcement makes little difference and that college students continue to practice alcohol bilging.
What is worth noting in this piece of work however, is the significant amount of effort these authors put in research on various issues pertaining drinking and the minimum drinking age. It is quite obvious that without this amount of research, the paper would not have amounted to much. Some of the main parts of the article are based on research, for example the amethyst initiative argument part, the part on experts assessing the minimum legal drinking age and the part on research on the minimum legal drinking age. These are the most important parts of the essay that are helpful for the readers to formulate important conclusions on the issue. In addition, this technique helped the authors come up with a believable essay, which many of the readers could relate with. All in all the unique techniques helped the authors present their ideas fully while giving the readers an interesting and probing essay.
Wechsler, Henry and Nelson, Toben. ‘Will Increasing Alcohol Availability by Lowering the
Minimum Legal Drinking Age Decrease Drinking and Related Consequences among
Youth?’ American Journal of Public Health 100.6 (2010): 986- 992. Print.