ALCOHOL ABUSE: U.S. Rep. Pushes for Campaign as Part of Drug War
U.S. Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Los Angeles), concerned about the prevalence of alcohol abuse among Hispanics, is slated to introduce a measure today that would include anti-alcohol messages in the federal government's anti-drug ad campaign. The Los Angeles Times reports that the alcohol industry's lobbyists "have launched a vigorous counteroffensive" against Roybal-Allard's amendment in the House Appropriations subcommittee. The National Beer Wholesalers Association's David Rehr said, "Everyone wants to get rid of underage drinking," but the industry itself "is best suited to formulate and distribute that message." He added, "Tax dollars shouldn't be used to put out of business a legal product." The Times reports that the $1 billion Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign is aimed at reducing youth drug use by 20% by 2002, but "none of the paid ads deal with alcohol abuse, a problem that studies show afflicts four times as many Americans as drug abuse." The push for anti-alcohol ads began at a hearing this spring, when Roybal-Allard asked White House drug czar Gen. Barry McCaffrey -- who has said "the most dangerous drug in America today is still alcohol" -- what the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy is doing to combat "heavy alcohol use and abuse [by] Mexican-American men," which is one-third higher than other ethnic group (Nazario, 5/13).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.