Underage drinking is the topic of the most recent Justice Center Research Overview

by Kathleen McCoy  |   

"Problems and Costs Associated With Underage Drinking" by Khristy Parker presents the most recent information (2007) on the public problems and costs of underage drinking in the U.S. and in Alaska, and describes the response to the problem of underage drinking in Alaska. In 2007, Alaska was ranked 39th among U.S. states for total costs of underage drinking, but had the highest costs of underage drinking per youth -- nearly twice the national average.

In October 2009, after several years of community collaboration and study, the Alaska Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking (Committee) released the State of Alaska Plan to Reduce & Prevent Underage Drinking. The plan includes recommendations for science-based state and community actions to reduce underage drinking. The Committee has identified, and is beginning to implement, a 5-year plan focused on policy development priorities. Evaluation of the plan will be ongoing. The Committee is composed of representatives from 12 state-wide agencies and associations and is in the process of creating a Youth Advisory Panel. Current strategies are aimed at developing community responses to underage drinking that will be coordinated at the state level. Pilot projects are underway in Yakutat and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough where community assessments have been completed. Prevention strategies to address risk behaviors and increase resiliency among juveniles, include dissemination of information, education, providing alternative activities, community-based processes, and environmental approaches to reduce and prevent underage alcohol use.

The Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation Underage Drinking Costs can be found at www.udetc.org. The State of Alaska Plan to Reduce & Prevent Underage Drinking can be found at www.hss.state.ak.us/dbh. See also the Justice Center Web site for related publications on alcohol and alcohol abuse and on juvenile delinquency.

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