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StopAlcoholAbuse.Gov is a comprehensive portal of Federal resources for information on underage drinking and ideas for combating this issue. People interested in underage drinking prevention—including parents, educators, community-based organizations, and youth—will find a wealth of valuable information here.

There are three action guides--specifically for families, communities, and educators--based on The Surgeon General’s Call to Action To Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking (PDF 1MB). These guides highlight what each group can do to reduce underage alcohol use in America and help prevent the problems underage drinking causes.

In addition, the Start Talking Before They Start Drinking: A Family Guide provides facts and practical advice on how to talk with your children about underage drinking. This guide helps you create household rules to support your values.

Follow these links to locate information on each publication:

Start Talking Before They Start Drinking - www.stopalcoholabuse.gov

What's New

Quick Quiz Widget Now Available

Ready for a challenge? The Quick Quiz widget is an interactive and periodically changing feature that tests users’ knowledge on underage drinking. It is generated from the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking’s research findings. The questions and answers are intended to stimulate discussions about preventing and reducing underage drinking among parents, educators, community-based organizations, and youth.

There is no cost to maintain the widget and very little time is required to copy it and share it with others. Test your knowledge today!

Prevention Program Helps Teens Override a Gene Linked to Risky Behavior

Researchers have found that a family-based substance abuse prevention program is especially effective in helping young teens with a genetic risk factor contributing to risky behavior. The study, supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, monitored the progress of 11-year-olds carrying a gene associated with impulsivity, low self-control, binge drinking, and substance abuse. Tweens who participated in the program were less likely to engage in these risky behaviors than those in the comparison group.

“The findings underscore that ‘nurture’ can influence ‘nature’ during adolescence, a pivotal time when delaying the start of alcohol consumption and other risky behaviors can have a significant impact on healthy child development,” says NIAAA Acting Director Kenneth R. Warren, Ph.D. “This study is one of the first to combine prevention research with a gene-environment study design.”

TSTS Newsroom and Widget: Save Time, Stay Informed, Share

snapshot of widget

The In the News newsroom, now featured on the Too Smart To Start (TSTS) home page, keeps individuals and organizations informed with the latest news on underage drinking. Sponsored by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), the newsroom is updated regularly with local, State, and national articles published by online sources. Sources include the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and its key partners, mainstream media, government agencies, and other reputable producers of news content. The newsroom features an archive for retrieval of past articles and a searchable database to make finding articles easier.

Also available is a widget that displays the newsroom content directly on your organization’s Web site. There’s no cost and very little time required to copy the widget and share up-to-date news on underage drinking.

2009 Reach Out Now Materials Available Online

Reach Out Now: Poster Reach Out Now: Poster/Teaching Guide Reach Out Now: Bonus Worksheets Reach Out Now: Family Pages
(View HTML
or PDF 15 MB)
(View HTML
or PDF 7 MB)
(View HTML
or PDF 7 MB)
(View HTML
or PDF 5 MB)

The 2009 Reach Out Now materials, developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in collaboration with Scholastic Inc., are available online to view and download. Reach Out Now provides school-based underage alcohol use prevention materials for fifth- and sixth-grade students, their families, and their teachers. These underage drinking prevention classroom materials feature lessons and worksheets, an interactive wall poster, bonus skill-building activity worksheets, and family activity pages.

Reach Out Now/Reach Out Now Teach-Ins

The Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) is sponsoring the Reach Out Now (RON) underage drinking prevention initiative in communities across the Nation. CSAP has collaborated with Scholastic Inc. to develop and disseminate effective school-based underage alcohol use prevention materials to participating fifth- and sixth-grade classrooms across the Nation in March.

In addition, CSAP is supporting and encouraging community-based organizations (CBOs) to collaborate with schools in conducting Reach Out Now Teach-Ins. CBOs are responsible for inviting prominent community leaders such as mayors and local celebrities to deliver classroom presentations. They also conduct media outreach, thereby increasing community awareness of the underage drinking issue.

Teach-In leaders use a specially designed lesson plan that is interactive and engaging. Experience has shown that Teach-Ins led by community leaders encourage broader use of RON materials by youth, teachers, and parents.

Learn more about the national Teach-In and see samples of the Reach Out Now materials.

Underage Drinking Prevention Town Hall Meetings

State/Territory Profiles Now Available

Last year, every State, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories participated in Town Hall Meetings (THMs) to help prevent and reduce underage drinking. Altogether, more than 1,600 community-based organizations (CBOs) held a THM as part of this national effort. Meeting summaries for individual States and Territories are now available.

Posted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the profiles are based on feedback from 86 percent of the CBOs. Tables, charts, and graphs present information on participation by youth and adults, number of meetings, communities where meetings were held, and highlights of events. Major actions resulting from the efforts of local communities include discussions and follow-up meetings as well as plans for legislation, THMs and future events, and other activities.

Key Resources for Families

A Family Guide To Keeping Youth Mentally & Drug Free

The Surgeon General’s Call to Action To Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking: What It Means to You: A Guide for Families.
Available to order or download (PDF - 899 KB)

A Guide to Action for Families

MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Talk to your child about Alcohol (PDF - 774 KB)

MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Talk to your child about Alcohol

New Business Audience Added

Check out the new Business category in the red audience sections above! Businesses can have a strong influence over youth in preventing underage drinking in their communities. Click here to see how.

New Data Show Drinking Age Laws Saved 4,441 Lives Over 5 Years

Minimum 21-year-old drinking age laws prevented an estimated 4,441 drunken driving deaths in the last five years alone, according to a new report released Nov. 6. NHTSA Acting Administrator David Kelly, who presented the report at a symposium on the subject led by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) said, “Turning our back on these laws would be a deadly mistake. Minimum drinking age laws are among the most effective measures ever used to reduce drunken driving deaths among America's young people.”
Read the Report (PDF 366KB)
An Examination of the Criticisms of the Minimum Legal Drinking Age 21 Laws in the U.S. from a Traffic-Safety Perspective (PDF 244KB)

To access past What's New announcements...

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Web site jointly supported by the following agencies:

U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense
U.S. Department of Education
Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
Office of the Surgeon General
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
U.S. Department of Labor
Working Partners for an Alcohol- and Drug-Free Workplace Program
U.S. Department of Transportation
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
U.S. Department of Treasury
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
Office of National Drug Control Policy
Federal Trade Commission
Last Reviewed on 8/24/2009