Alcohol Reports: Project No. P114503 #00068 

Submission Number:
00068 
Commenter:
Richard Ferrary
Organization:
Mesilla valley DWI Resource Center
State:
New Mexico
Initiative Name:
Alcohol Reports: Project No. P114503

Our group focuses on underage drinking prevention. Most of our contacts are with youth under college age. Within this group, there has been an explosion of use of internet social media and networking (facebook, etc.). These sites may be regulated to some extent for content such as bullying, but we believe are not particularly interested in regulating advertizing, especially since that is how they survive. We believe it is important to gather information on how much the alcohol industry is shifting its advertizing to the internet and to what extent those sites are following the voluntary guidlines the alcohol industry claims to be following. The latest report on alcohol consumption by youth under 18, the Youth Risk and Resiliancy Survey, cooncluded that New Mexico youth 13 and under are more likely to be consuming alcohol than in any other surveyed State. Since this survey has been done bi-annually over many years, it is also apparent that little or no progress is being made to reduce underage drinking or the risky behaviors associated with drinking alcohol. Anecdotally, we believe that youth are shifting away from beer and wine and towards malt liquor and hard liquor due to the very cheap cost compared to the potency of the products. For example, FOR LOCO costs between $2 and $2.50 and has the alcohol equivalent of almost 6 beers. These products are often indistinguishable from energy drinks in terms of labeling style. Existing studies have shown that youth usually drink to get drunk, so these products pose a special risk, in my opinion.