06-10-2007, 04:15 PM
Automated News Hunter
Join Date: Nov 2006
A Focus on Underage Drinking
Our nation would face a public health nightmare if we had just as many illegal drug users as alcohol users. An important lesson on supply and demand ran in today's Washington Post after a local summit on underage drinking. The bottom line: the more expensive drugs are for users, the less likely they are to use or to begin using:
The stakes are high, public health experts said. "If you begin to use alcohol at a very young age, you have over a 40 percent change of being an alcohol-dependent person," said Faye J. Calhoun, deputy director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism....Do you need educational material about alcohol abuse and prevention? You can download posters, brochures, and pamphlets from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism web site.
And here are some facts about underage drinking (also from the NIAAA):
..."There is a wealth of research that demonstrates that young people among all consumers are responsive to price," Hacker said in an interview. "Higher taxes and higher prices depress demand."
- In 2002, about 2 million youth ages 12 through 20 drank 5 or more drinks on an occasion*, 5 or more times a month (and more than 7 million reported this level of consumption at least once in the survey month) (SAMHSA, 2003).
- Alcohol use by persons under age 21 poses both acute and long-term risks.
- In 2002, 1.5 million youth ages 12 through 17 met criteria for admission to alcohol treatment (of these, only 120,000 received treatment) (SAMHSA, 2003).
- Alcohol is a leading contributor to injury death, the leading cause of death for persons under age 21.
- 40% of those who start drinking before the age of 15 meet criteria for alcohol dependence at some point in their lives.
- Research indicates that the human brain continues to develop into a person's early 20's and that exposure of the developing brain to alcohol may have long-lasting effects on intellectual capabilities and may increase the likelihood of alcohol addiction (Brown, Tapert, Granholm and Delis, 2000).
- Underage alcohol consumption results in serious second-hand effects.
- Almost half of the approximately 2200 person who die annually in traffic crashes involving drinking drivers under age 21 are person other than the drinking driver (Hingson & Winter, 2003).
- Among college students under age 21 alone, 50,000 experience alcohol-related date rape, and 430,000 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking (NIAAA, 2002).