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Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility (2004)

Chapter: Appendix A: Statement of Task

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Research Council and Institute of Medicine. 2004. Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10729.

Appendix A
Statement of Task

The Board on Children, Youth, and Families of the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine will form a new committee to review existing federal, state and nongovernmental programs, including media-based programs, designed to change the attitudes and health behaviors of youth. The review will include programs that focus directly on behavior change as well as those designed to change underage drinking behavior through reduction of adolescent access to alcohol (such as through increased excise taxation, aggressive enforcement of age and identification checks, and restriction of alcohol on college campuses). The committee shall produce a consensus panel report based on this review. The report will provide a cost-effective strategy to prevent and reduce underage drinking, including: an outline and implementation plan, message points that will be effective in changing the attitudes and health behaviors of youth concerning underage drinking, target audience identification, goals and objectives, and the estimated costs of development and implementation.

The committee will meet several times during the course of this study. It will begin by developing a general approach to conducting this project, including the identification of criteria for selection of appropriate programs for review. The committee will plan and oversee a public forum to obtain input from all relevant stakeholders and will hear presentations from a variety of experts regarding various aspects of substance abuse prevention and youth behavior change. These presentations may be accompanied by additional independent analyses or commissioned work that addresses various components of the overall committee charge.

The committee will produce a consensus report that will be widely disseminated to interested stakeholders.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Research Council and Institute of Medicine. 2004. Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10729.
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Alcohol use by young people is extremely dangerous - both to themselves and society at large. Underage alcohol use is associated with traffic fatalities, violence, unsafe sex, suicide, educational failure, and other problem behaviors that diminish the prospects of future success, as well as health risks – and the earlier teens start drinking, the greater the danger. Despite these serious concerns, the media continues to make drinking look attractive to youth, and it remains possible and even easy for teenagers to get access to alcohol.

Why is this dangerous behavior so pervasive? What can be done to prevent it? What will work and who is responsible for making sure it happens? Reducing Underage Drinking addresses these questions and proposes a new way to combat underage alcohol use. It explores the ways in which may different individuals and groups contribute to the problem and how they can be enlisted to prevent it. Reducing Underage Drinking will serve as both a game plan and a call to arms for anyone with an investment in youth health and safety.

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