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2008.04.07 > For Immediate Release
contact: Tim Kaldahl - University Relations
phone: 402.554.3502 - email: tkaldahl@mail.unomaha.edu

Acting U.S. Surgeon General Coming to UNO

PLEASE NOTE VENUE CHANGE: The community meeting will be held

in the Milo Bail Student Center's Ballroom.

Omaha - The Acting U.S. Surgeon General will visit Omaha next week to speak to teachers, parents, students and others who play a role in the lives of young people about the dangers of underage drinking.

Rear Admiral Steven K. Galson, M.D., M.P.H., will speak to community members and young people during a presentation on Tuesday, April 15, as part of a community meeting being held at the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Ballroom in the Milo Bail Student Center. The event will begin at 1 p.m. The campus community is invited to attend.

“It’s an honor to host Dr. Galson,” said UNO Chancellor John Christensen. “The topic he is discussing is an important one. I’m proud the university can be a place where we can discuss the problem of underage drinking and ways to best address it.”

Alcohol is the most widely used and abused substance among our nation’s youth, more than tobacco or illicit drugs. Young people are being harmed by underage drinking, either due to motor vehicle accidents, risky sexual behavior or impaired brain development.

According to a report on substance abuse released in February by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services:

* High school students in Nebraska were 1.7 times more likely than students nationally to report driving after drinking in the past month.

* In 2005, more than 2 in every 5 Nebraska high school students reported drinking alcohol during the past month. At nearly 43 percent, the number of high school students reporting alcohol use was greater than those reporting cigarette and marijuana use combined.

* More than half of students age 12 and older reported drinking alcohol in the past month in 2004 and 2005.

*Youth who drink are more likely to make poor decisions related to sexual activity and illicit drug use.

* Those in their late teens and early 20s are more likely to binge drink. They are also more likely to drive after drinking, to die or be injured in alcohol-related crashes, to be arrested for alcohol offenses, and to seek substance abuse treatment.

By engaging parents and people in communities, attitudes about underage drinking can be changed. Prevention is the best strategy when it comes to underage drinking.

* * *

UNO will celebrate its 100th anniversary beginning October 8, 2008. This celebration will recognize the partnership among the City of Omaha, its citizens and UNO to build a vibrant and dynamic community. The centennial theme is “UNO: Central To Our City Since 1908.” This theme acknowledges the past contributions of UNO to the community and sets the stage for great things to come.

UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908. For Centennial information, go to http://www.unomaha.edu/100/.

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