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April 8, 2008

Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287


Alcohol Awareness Month Echoes Surgeon General’s Message on Underage Drinking

Lincoln – More than two of every five Nebraska high school students are current drinkers. Approximately 43,000 students, or 42.9 percent, drank alcohol in the month before responding to the 2005 Nebraska Youth Risk Behavior Survey from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

As part of Nebraska's observance of alcohol awareness month, Acting U.S. Surgeon General Steven K. Galson will visit the state next week to speak to teachers, parents, students, and others working with young people about the dangers of underage drinking.

He will speak at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 14, at the Nebraska Educational Telecommunications building in Lincoln, located at 1800 N. 33rd St., and will visit the Strauss Performing Arts Center on the University of Nebraska at Omaha campus at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 15. Both events are open to the public.

"We're very pleased to be hosting Surgeon General Galson during alcohol awareness month," said Scot Adams, Ph.D., director of the Division of Behavioral Health in DHHS. "His visit provides an opportunity to engage Nebraska families on underage drinking. It’s important to raise awareness about this risky behavior."

Other statistics regarding underage drinking in Nebraska include:

  • Alcohol is the most commonly used substance among high school students in Nebraska. In Nebraska in 2005, more than 2 in every 5 high school students (42.9%) drank alcohol during the past month, compared to one in six who used marijuana (17.5%). (source: Youth Risk Behavior Study)
  • Approximately 3 in every 10 Nebraska high school students binge drink. In 2005, high school students in Nebraska (29.8%, an estimated 30,000 students) had a higher percentage than high school students nationally (25.5%) for binge drinking. (source: Youth Risk Behavior Survey)