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July 15, 2004


Dear Friends,

We are pleased to announce the launch of the National Alliance to Prevent Underage Drinking (NAPUD), an ad hoc coalition of national organizations dedicated to preventing and reducing childhood drinking. We hope your organization will consider joining this effort by becoming a member of the Alliance.

The goal of the National Alliance is to promote implementation of the strategy identified in the National Academy of Sciences' (NAS) September, 2003 report to Congress entitled, "Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility." The NAS report reflects the work of many of the nation's top public health researchers and offers a comprehensive, evidence-based roadmap to address the nation's costliest and most harmful youth drug problem.

Alcohol plays a substantial role in the top three causes of teen death (traffic crashes, murder, and suicide) and costs the nation an estimated $53 billion per year. Despite its massive toll in dollars and lives, and while illicit drugs and tobacco youth prevention receive considerable attention and support, underage drinking prevention has consistently been under-funded.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, prevention efforts are beginning to pay off in declining rates of teen smoking and street drug use. However, due to the absence of comparable efforts to combat underage drinking, alcohol use and binge drinking among teens continue at alarmingly high rates. Nearly half (48.6 percent) of all high school seniors report drinking in the last 30 days, a much larger proportion of youth than those who report either using marijuana (21.5 percent) or smoking (26.7 percent).

The NAS report concluded that, "Absent some new intervention, there is no reason to expect any further substantial decline [in underage drinking]." NAPUD intends to promote new interventions that will lead to real progress on this serious youth health and safety issue.

We hope you will take a moment to review the enclosed NAPUD statement of purpose and the overview of the NAS report. Please consider joining this first-of-its kind national effort to combat childhood drinking and save young lives. To become a member of NAPUD, please fill out and fax the enclosed sign-up sheet to (202) 265-4954. For further information, please contact acting NAPUD coordinator Kim Hennemeyer at (202) 777-8338, or via e-mail at kimh@cspinet.org.

With thanks and best regards.


Sincerely,

American Academy of Pediatrics
American Medical Association
Center for Science in the Public Interest
Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth
Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America
Leadership to Keep Children Alcohol Free
Mothers Against Drunk Driving
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
 

Working Together at the Federal Level to Reduce Underage

Drinking and its Harms.

 

 

 

 

Posted 10 December 2004