Surgeon General’s Warning: Underage Drinking is a Problem

On Tuesday, following the release of the 2005 SAMHSA survey on alcohol use (see previous blog posting), the acting U.S. Surgeon General, Kenneth Moritsugu issued a “call to action” on underage drinking.

The Call to Action was developed in collaboration with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The plan establishes six clear goals:

1) Facilitate healthy adolescent development that help prevent and reduce underage drinking by fostering societal changes
2) Coordinate a national effort to encourage parents, schools, communities, the government, social systems and youth to prevent and reduce underage drinking and its consequences
3) Promote public education of the relationship between underage alcohol consumption and human development and maturation
4) Support research on adolescent alcohol use and human development
5) Improve public health surveillance on underage drinking and risk factors
6) Apply policies consistently at all levels to prevent and reduce underage alcohol consumption

How this declaration changes the government’s official stance on underage drinking prevention and treatment remains to be seen.

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