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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Jennifer Baylis
877-SADD-INC (toll-free)
jbaylis@sadd.org

SADD Calls on Youth and Adults to Join U.S. Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Underage Drinking

Marlborough, MA (March 7, 2007) – SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) commended acting U.S. Surgeon General Kenneth P. Moritsugu, M.D., on the release of his Call to Action against underage drinking. SADD has worked for the past twenty-five years to promote awareness of the dangers of underage drinking and other destructive decisions by teens, and hailed the Surgeon General for his action focusing attention on this critical issue.

“For a quarter-century, SADD has stood for safe decision-making by teens around issues of alcohol use,” said Penny Wells, executive director and president of SADD. “Our students have worked consistently to help their peers resist the terrible harm caused by underage drinking in our society. We welcome the attention to underage drinking as a serious public health hazard that the Surgeon General’s report promotes.”

Alcohol remains the drug of choice for teens, a fact recognized by the Surgeon General.  According to the 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, there are 11 million underage drinkers in the United States, and 7.2 million of those are considered binge drinkers. More than two million are classified as heavy drinkers. 
The Surgeon General’s report, developed in collaboration with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), identified six goals.

  • Foster changes in society that facilitate healthy adolescent development and that help prevent and reduce underage drinking.
  • Engage parents, schools, communities, all levels of government, all social systems that interface with youth, and youth themselves in a coordinated national effort to prevent and reduce underage drinking and its consequences.
  • Promote an understanding of underage alcohol consumption in the context of human development and maturation that takes into account individual adolescent characteristics as well as environmental, ethnic, cultural, and gender differences.
  • Conduct additional research on adolescent alcohol use and its relationship to development.
  • Work to improve public health surveillance on underage drinking and on population-based risk factors for this behavior.
  • Work to ensure that policies at all levels are consistent with the national goal of preventing and reducing underage alcohol consumption.

Founded in 1981 as Students Against Driving Drunk, SADD now addresses all risky behaviors that affect youth, with special attention on underage drinking, other drug use, impaired driving, teen violence and suicide. SADD sponsors more than 10,000 chapters in middle schools, high schools, and colleges that use a peer-to-peer education and prevention approach to promote healthy decision-making and positive lifestyles among teens. 

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Click here to read the press release issued by the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office.

Download a pdf file.

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