The Office of Drug Control Policy’s task force that’s looking at underage drinking has put together its action plan. Beck Swift helped develop the three-year plan that came after a charge from the U.S. Surgeon General. Swift says they want to increase resources available to address underage drinking, and she says the first year of the plan is exploratory, as they look at what type of resources they have and where the gaps are.
Swift says part of their action is to review the methods used now for preventing underage drinking. She says they’ll study current legislation regarding the funds raised through the alcoholic beverages division, and where that funding is going. Swift says they’ll look at sources of funding for alcohol compliance checks to research and enhance best practices to reduce underage drinking at the community level. Another action item is to pull all the groups together from the local groups all the way up to the state.
Swift says now they’re a task force of individuals from a variety of different organizations, and they want to flesh that out so they can work together on action plans for years two and three. Swift says they will work to try to ensure the availability of consistent data on underage drinking.
Swift says that means things like institutionalizing the Iowa Youth Survey, conducting the survey and updating some of the profiles of underage drinking in the state. Swift says the plan is designed to find out where they are at in the underage drinking fight, and where they need to go.
Swift says resources are slim when it comes to substance abuse prevention issues, and they need to explore what the resources are, where they do things well and where the gaps are. Swift says they plan to have lots of public input too as they move forward with implementing the plan.