Prevention Policy Matters Blog

The Prevention Policy Matters Blog helps translate public health policy into practice, offering innovative ways to make national guidelines work in communities across the nation. Discover insights and practical tips from experts across all of ODPHP’s divisions, as well as compelling stories from other professionals.

Underage alcohol use (also known as underage drinking) is a serious public health problem in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), young people abuse alcohol more than any other drug — and more than 4,300 young people die from alcohol-related causes each year. The problem of underage drinking is even more significant for American Indians, and major health disparities related to alcohol exist for this population. In addition to having higher rates of alcohol-related deaths, American Indians are more likely to start drinking alcohol at a younger age than other groups — a significant risk factor for alcohol problems later in life.
Representatives from more than 20 federal departments, agencies, and offices worked under the coordination of the HHS Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy to update the National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan, 2017 – 2020. The Action Plan provides a strategic framework to work collaboratively across diverse sectors to achieve four key goals: 1) Prevent new hepatitis B and C infections, 2) reduce deaths and improve the health of people living with viral hepatitis, 3) reduce viral hepatitis health disparities, and 4) coordinate, monitor and report on implementation and viral hepatitis activities. The Action Plan identifies strategies and recommended actions to help focus and guide the efforts of federal, state, tribal, county, city and organizational partners and indicators to track the progress in achieving these goals. In addition, the Action Plan includes 19 indicators to promote transparency and accountability for results and movement toward the 2020 goals.