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Report affirms NBWA's position.

Report affirms NBWA's position

Saying "someone in government finally realizes we may just be right," National Beer Wholesalers Association president Ronald Sarasin last week praised a recently released General Accounting Office (GAO) report which criticized federal agencies that ignore "responsible use" approaches in alcohol and drug abuse education and awareness programs.

The report, prepared by Rep. Major Owens (D-NY), chairman of the subcommittee on select education, examined the policies and methods used by the Department of Education (DoE), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to award federal recognition to drug abuse prevention programs.

The report noted that the present awards program failed to adequately assess the effectiveness of the programs it recognized, and further stated, "DoE and HHS unnecessarily limited the search for successful drug abuse prevention programs by considering only those with a no-use approach."

"NBWA has long maintained that there is an essential lack of balance and fairness with some federal agencies when it comes to alcohol policy," Sarasin stated. "This report confirms what we've been saying all along."

"We found that the recommendations of knowledgeable reviewers were subject to change at the final stage by the steering committee with no additional data and no formal guidance," the report continued. "The steering committee...reviewed the recommended programs," 10 of which were rejected.

The report determined that the reversal in the 10 cases actually stemmed not from the steering committee finding a lack of effectiveness in the program, but because the did not meet the group's requirement of a strict "no-use" policy.

"It's time," Sarasin continued, "government wrested control of HHS and DoE from [extreme neo-prohibitionists] and started to promote more broad-based, effective approaches to preventing drug and alcohol abuse."
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Title Annotation:National Beer Wholesalers Association praises US General Accounting Office report criticizing federal agencies' implementation of alcohol and drug abuse education, awareness programs
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Oct 28, 1991
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