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Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility
efforts to reduce underage drinking and its associated problems in their communities. The alcohol industry also has implemented a range of efforts with the goal of reducing underage drinking.
The committee reviewed the 2001 report of the General Accounting Office on federal programs. This report focused on federal funding that targets underage drinking or includes underage drinking within a broader mandate. It does not include evidence on the effectiveness of specific programs. For the programs operated by the Departments of Transportation and Justice, the report provides general information on the types of activities funded—traffic safety and enforcement of underage drinking laws, respectively. No information is provided on the HHS-funded programs or activities, the largest overall funder of targeted underage drinking activities (see Chapter 12), probably because the funds generally do not represent a national program but, rather, funding for select state or local programs or research aimed at specific aspects of the problem. Although HHS has funded evaluations of specific state and community-level programs, the committee is not aware of any national-level HHS evaluations, or national evaluations of the Department of Transportation program. Each of the federal agencies have initiatives to highlight promising practices, based on varying levels of evidence. Evaluations of state or local programs that receive federal funding that are available in the literature, are reflected in the papers prepared for the committee’s study.
The largest single federal program that targets underage drinking is the Enforcing the Underage Drinking Laws (EUDL) Program, operated by the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). A national evaluation of this program is in its fourth year, with only very preliminary outcomes information now available (see Chapter 9). The training and technical assistance center funded by the EUDL program produces a variety of materials that highlight best practices, many of which were reviewed by the committee.
The committee also reviewed written materials submitted by numerous organizations and individuals and considered both written and oral information presented at a public meeting held on November 21, 2002, by a wide range of organizations and people (see Appendix C). This input highlighted programs or approaches considered effective by diverse communities and provided insights into their attitudes and experiences. The judgments provided through this process regarding effectiveness of particular programs or interventions were primarily subjective or based on informal evaluations.
Industry representatives provided extensive materials that were reviewed by the committee on the multiple activities they fund to reduce underage drinking. Included were descriptive materials such as summaries, brochures, pamphlets, videos, and guidebooks; testimonials from commu-