(House of Representatives - February 14, 2013)

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[Page H508]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Roybal-Allard) for 5 minutes.
  Ms. ROYBAL-ALLARD. Mr. Speaker, last week, I introduced H.R. 498, to 
reauthorize the Sober Truth on Preventing Underage Drinking Act, better 
known as the STOP Act.
  The original STOP Act passed with bipartisan support in 2006. It was 
based on the recommendations of the 2003 Institute of Medicine report, 
which outlined the extent of the underage drinking problem in the 
United States. At that time, 20 percent of eighth graders, 42 percent 
of 10th graders, and 58 percent of 12th graders reported being drunk in 
their lifetimes.

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  Designed to address this public health crisis, the STOP Act 
established an interagency committee to coordinate Federal efforts to 
reduce and ultimately prevent underage drinking.
  The law financed public health research on underage drinking, and it 
authorized a national media campaign to educate parents about the 
dangers of consuming alcohol before the age of 21.
  The STOP Act also provided grants to communities throughout the 
country to enhance their underage drinking prevention efforts. As a 
result of this comprehensive approach, we have seen positive results in 
both national statistics and in communities across America.
  According to the 2012 Monitoring the Future survey, the lifetime use 
of alcohol by 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-graders is at the lowest level in 
years. Unfortunately, there is more that needs to be done.
  Despite the progress we have made, alcohol continues to be the number 
one drug of choice among youth, and the consequences are devastating.
  In addition to costing society over $62 billion a year, underage 
drinking by youths 15-20 years of age is a major cause of homicide, 
suicide, and motor vehicle accidents. And it results in the deaths of 
approximately 5,000 youths every year. Adding to this tragedy is the 
fact that all of these consequences are preventable. This makes 
reauthorization of the STOP Act even more necessary.
  H.R. 498 continues the successful programs of the original STOP Act 
and adds a grant program to train pediatric health care providers on 
the best practices for screening and treating substance abuse among 
  Mr. Speaker, the reauthorization of the STOP Act is an important 
bipartisan effort to help prevent the needless suffering and costs 
associated with underage drinking. I urge my colleagues to join me and 
my original cosponsors, Congressman Frank Wolf and Congresswoman Rosa 
DeLauro, by cosponsoring the STOP reauthorization bill, H.R. 498, so we 
can continue to move forward in our efforts to address this public 
health crisis affecting our children.