Monthly Archives: January 2016

Sorry, kids, but the drinking age should stay at 21; it’s about saving lives

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It seems like conventional wisdom: The drinking age should be 18. After all, why should you be able to vote or serve your country in the military, but not legally buy a drink? But there’s a very compelling case for keeping the drinking age at 21: It saves lives. That may be hard to believe, but at its heart, the drinking age is supposed to stop people from drinking until they’re responsible adults. And the research shows it works — to some extent. So the laws may not be perfect, and they may be disobeyed at times. But the overall evidence is clear: A drinking age of 21 reduces use and saves lives. Continue reading

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Millions spent on ads, but scare tactics won’t prevent underage drinking; youth asset building best solution

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The Australian government invested millions of dollars per year in the ad campaign, designed to prevent underage drinking by scaring teenagers straight. The goal was a worthy one; reducing underage drinking helps reduce numerous negative societal and public health outcomes. But the real question is this: Does the technique work? “All kinds of stuff has been done in the name of prevention, ‘Your brain on drugs’ and all that crap, that wasn’t based on evidence at all,” said Michael Koresky, an educator who was works on youth substance abuse prevention. “There’s not one iota of data that says Red Ribbon campaigns have any effect at all.” Koresky had found himself in underage substance abuse prevention after years of frustration working in treatment and intervention. “(I) just got more and more frustrated trying to help these people, save these people, who are pretty far gone,” he said. “I want to go upstream and … keep them from falling in the river.” Continue reading

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Recent CDC studies reveal alcohol abuse is a growing problem

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Recently a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said that alcohol-related deaths in the United States rose 37 percent from 2002 to 2014. Often we focus on reducing underage drinking, however just because you can legally drink doesn’t remove needed concerns over alcohol-related fatalities and alcoholism.
In 2014, there were more than 30,700 deaths from alcohol-related causes. Continue reading

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Early 2016 traffic deaths are occurring throughout Greater Austin region; VisionZero Taskforce talks about solutions

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It’s already a deadly year on Austin-area roadways with three local traffic deaths Monday. Austin itself set a record in 2015 with 102 traffic fatalities. Austin is getting bigger. Not the city-limits but the amount of sprawl between the city and surrounding communities. Traffic experts say the more sprawling a metro area is, the more traffic deaths reported. The local VisionZero Task Force said collecting traffic data, targeting education and more aggressive enforcement and prosecution are expected to be part of an action plan. Continue reading

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Austin hits 102 traffic fatalities for 2015 after spate of crashes

Dec. 31, 2015 – American-Statesman —  The number of Austin traffic fatalities in 2015 reached 102 Thursday — the highest annual toll Austin has ever recorded since the city started tracking the statistic in 1985.  The unusual number of deadly … Continue reading

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