(Vocus) February 23, 2009 — Choose Responsibility (http://www.chooseresponsibility.org/), founded in 2006 by former Middlebury College President John McCardell, was featured prominently in Sunday evening’s edition of 60 Minutes. The non-profit has gained significant traction in its efforts to address the pressing issue of alcohol abuse by young people.
Statement by John McCardell, president of Choose Responsibility (http://www.chooseresponsibility.org/): “Choose Responsibility commends 60 Minutes for taking a serious look at the growing underground drinking problem permeating our country, and underscoring the need for a broad national debate. We need to make it as ‘uncool’ to binge drink as it has become to drink and drive.
“Binge drinking is as serious an alcohol related problem today as drunk driving was two decades ago. The harmful, destructive and sometimes fatal consequences suffered as a result of this practice are crying out for more attention.”
“Not only are young people drinking illegally, they are doing so recklessly and dangerously. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, underage drinking contributes to 599,000 injuries, and 97,000 cases of sexual assault among college students a year. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that approximately one in six teenagers have drunk so much that they blacked out and couldn’t remember what happened the night before. The results of this behavior are life threatening: More than 60% of the lives lost to alcohol are lost off the highways — over 3,000 per year. Certainly these lives are no less precious than those that occur as a result of drunk driving crashes, and the families of these young people grieve no less as a result of their tragic deaths.”
“Irresponsible drinking behavior is a serious problem that needs a serious solution. Our current approach and laws are not solving the binge drinking problem, and enforcement alone is not the solution.”
To view the full 60 Minutes interview, please visit http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4819332n.