A new report by the private National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse titled "Malignant Neglect: Substance Abuse and America's Schools" has been widely-publicized. News reports have used such alarmist language such as "booze rampant in secondary schools," disastrous, infested, and hell.

Earlier reports by the same organization have been criticized for presenting data "apparently pulled from thin air," making unsubstantiated assertions, and presenting misleading conclusions. The organization's president repeatedly appears on television making alarmist statements and calling for strong action to reduce the alleged epidemic of drinking among people.

Actually, virtually all scientific studies demonstrate a continuing reduction, not an epidemic, in drinking and drinking problems among high school students and other young people.

Unfortunately, exaggerating the extent of drinking contributes to the problem by convincing young people that "everybody's doing it" so they should too.


  • Drugs, Booze Rampant in Secondary Schools. September 5, 2000