Dr. Fisher Calls Surgeon General’s “Call to Action” on Underage Drinking Inadequate, Discusses Underage Drinking in New Book

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Fisher discusses underage drinking in his new book Rethinking Our War on Drugs: Candid Talk About Controversial Issues (Praeger Publishing).

The Surgeon General's report lacks the support necessary to significantly impact underage drinking. For the third straight year, the Bush Administration has proposed the elimination of an alcohol abuse reduction program in the Department of Education and a Department of Justice program to enforce underage drinking laws.

Acting Surgeon General Kenneth Moritsugu recently issued a national call to action on underage drinking. According to Dr. Moritsugu, "Research shows that young people who start drinking before the age of 15 are five times more likely to have alcohol-related problems later in life." Furthermore, government surveys have shown that underage drinking has remained at consistently high levels.

Although this call to action on underage drinking is welcomed by substance abuse professionals, the recommendations in the report are in opposition to the budget priorities in the Bush Administration's FY 2008 request.

According to Gary L. Fisher, Ph.D., former Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Technologies at the University of Nevada, Reno and author of books on the subject, "The Surgeon General's report lacks the support necessary to significantly impact underage drinking. For the third straight year, the Bush Administration has proposed the elimination of an alcohol abuse reduction program in the Department of Education and a Department of Justice program to enforce underage drinking laws."

Fisher discusses underage drinking in his new book Rethinking Our War on Drugs: Candid Talk About Controversial Issues (Praeger Publishing). He offers expert commentary on our persistent alcohol and drug problems and offer solutions to reduce underage drinking including:

  •     Include alcohol in the mandate of the Office of Drug Control Policy.
  •     Restrict retail outlets that can distribute alcohol.
  •     Eliminate marketing directed at underage drinkers (i.e. limit all marketing to product characteristics and no marketing in media with large underage audiences).
  •     Allow FDA oversight of products containing alcohol.
  •     Raise alcohol excise taxes, which has been proven to reduce underage drinking in states that have done so.

ABOUT GARY L. FISHER:

Gary L. Fisher is Founder and was the first Director at the Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies at the University of Nevada, Reno. A former Professor of Counseling and Educational Psychology, he is the author of a textbook on substance abuse counseling that is now in its third edition. Fisher's career has spanned 31 years and includes work as a private practice clinician and in public schools as a psychologist. The center he directed in Reno provides drug and alcohol counselors and prevention specialists with state-of-the-art training. Visit his blog at http://www.garylfisherphd.com.

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