Senators Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), today introduced the Sober Truth on Preventing (STOP) Underage Drinking Act Reauthorization, legislation designed to prevent underage drinking. The reauthorization builds upon the success of the original STOP ACT, which was passed by Congress in 2006.
The bill will continue federal government efforts to combat underage drinking and increase prevention activities in states and local communities, including college campuses. It would also continue public service media campaigns to increase adult awareness of the threat alcohol poses to their children, as well as increase research and data collection done at the federal level on adolescent alcohol use and brain development.
The bill comes just as the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the University of Michigan released the results of the 2010 Monitoring the Future (MTF) Survey the largest national survey on youth drug and alcohol use. The MTF Survey showed that alcohol use has continued to decline among high school seniors with past year use falling from 43.5 percent to 41.2 percent and alcohol binge drinking declining from 25.2 percent to 23.2 percent.
Addiction Professional editor Gary Enos discusses the results of the survey in this week's
The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) applauded the effort. “We are thrilled that Senators Dodd, Lautenberg, Casey and Merkley introduced the STOP Act reauthorization bill, which would authorize additional funding for communities to enhance their underage drinking prevention efforts,” said Gen. Arthur T. Dean, CADCA chairman and CEO.
"The only bright spot in the 2010 Monitoring the Future Survey released yesterday was the decline in youth alcohol use, including binge drinking, which is proof that the STOP Act is helping to make a difference. I urge Congress to pass this bill so we can continue to curb underage drinking in communities across the country," Dean added.
A companion bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year in September by Representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.), Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), and Frank Wolf (R-Va.).