For Immediate Release – 1/10/2012
Contact: Public Affairs
The distilled spirits industry has long shared concerns about binge drinking and has been a leader in developing programs and public-private partnerships to reduce all forms of alcohol abuse, and promote moderation. Through these efforts, as well as strict law enforcement and education, significant progress has been made with recent statistics showing drunk driving fatalities and underage drinking at record low levels.
While more needs to be done, the simplistic prescription recommended by CDC will not solve the problem. CDC’s recommended population-based controls may reduce overall consumption but will have little or no impact on binge drinking.
Repeated studies, including research by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, have shown that alcohol abusers are affected little by price. It is the moderate, responsible consumers who are most sensitive to prices and are the ones that cut back the most when prices rise. In fact, another recent CDC study cited moderate alcohol consumption as one of four healthy lifestyle behaviors that, in combination, can help people live longer.
A cost-effective alternative — widely supported by the science — and currently used by health professionals across the country, is screening and brief intervention targeted to problem drinkers. This evidence-based approach has long been supported by the spirits industry through partnerships with healthcare professional organizations. In fact, the Distilled Spirits Council helped develop a screening tool for health professionals, endorsed by numerous health and medical associations, which can be viewed here: http://www.alcoholtoolkit.org/