• Ongoing Prevention: To reduce under-aged drinking and to inform youth about the negative consequences of drinking alcohol.

  • Ongoing Recovery: To promote awareness about the disease of alcoholism. Understanding relapse and the "great myth" surrounding the disease of addiction.

The Problem

Approximately 10 million American youth under the age of 21 drink alcohol. Nearly half of them drink to excess, consuming five or more drinks in a row, one or more times in a two-week period. Alcohol is the most frequently used drug by high school seniors, and its use is increasing. Boys usually try alcohol for the first time at just 11 years old, while the average age for American girls' first drink is 13. In short, our nation's youth are flirting with disaster. Consider the facts:

  • Underage drinking is a factor in nearly half of all teen automobile crashes, the leading cause of death among teenagers.
  • Alcohol use contributes to youth suicides, homicides and fatal injuries-the leading causes of death among youth after auto crashes.
  • Alcohol abuse is linked to as many as two-thirds of all sexual assaults and date rapes of teens and college students. Alcohol is a major factor in unprotected sex among youth, increasing their risk of contracting HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases.

A new study shows negative effects of alcohol use on the brain development of adolescents. Read this fact sheet from the American Medical Association report on, "Alcohol’s Adverse Effects on the Brains of Children, Adolescents and College Students"

Creating Solutions by Changing Environments

Traditional efforts to reduce underage drinking have focused solely on youth education and prevention techniques, often simply trying to convince youth not to drink. Research shows that this model has been only marginally successful. Reducing Underage Drinking Through Coalitions is embracing a new approach that focuses instead on how the social environment encourages-even enables-alcohol abuse among young people.
            -- Percy Wootton, MD
               Past President, American Medical Association

Many factors contribute to underage drinking. These factors may include illegal alcohol sales to minors, alcohol distribution and pricing practices, cultural norms and marketing promotions and advertising. Advertising, for example, helps shape young peoples' beliefs about drinking, particularly when humorous, cartoon-like characters or glamorous images are used. By the time the average young person reaches age 18, he or she has seen more than 100,000 beer commercials

Our goal is to change perceptions about the way alcohol is accepted in our society. We will offer workshops, lectures, and support structures to achieve these goals. We will also implement new legislation which will change the way alcohol companies promote their drug particularly to the youth market. Stricter laws need to be enacted which will convey the message that alcohol is a drug and not a beverage. The negative consequences of alcohol use need to be emphasized.

It took decades for the tobacco companies to finally admit their product was addictive and caused death. Warning labels were finally included on packaging and ads were taken off the air. Class-action suits were forcing the companies to put money into prevention efforts. Tobacco companies were forced to stop gearing ad campaigns designed to entice the youth market.

Why should the alcohol companies be any different? We want to make a difference and change the way these companies do business. They have been unregulated too long and continue to adversely affect the youth market. We need to make young people aware of deceptive advertising and the way the television and film industries portray the acceptance of alcohol without consequences.

We also want to convey a clear message to recovering alcoholics about the disease of addiction and the myths that surround the disease. In particular, we want to share the benefits of a twelve step program and introduce those to a better way of life thru sobriety.

We are available for speaking presentations to various groups -- schools, treatment centers, rehabs, recovery homes...wherever there is a need to inform, educate, and make people aware of this treatable but not curable disease.

For more information and a pamphlet about Lisa's Light, please email us at: gstoefen@att.net

Lisa's Light
P.O. Box 27611
San Diego, CA 92198

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