Preventing Alcohol-Related Problems: Evidence and Community-Based Initiatives

A Q&A with the editors of Preventing Alcohol-Related Problems: Evidence and Community-Based Initiatives, just released by APHA Press.

Norman Giesbrecht, PhD, is an emeritus scientist with the Toronto Centre for Addiction & Mental Health and an adjunct professor at Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. He served as chair of the APHA Publications Board from 2007 to 2011 and received a lifetime achievement award from the APHA Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs Section in 2008.

Linda M. Bosma, PhD, is president of Bosma Consulting, a Minnesota-based evaluation practice focused on community initiatives. As section and program chair of APHA’s Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs Section, she received the Section Leadership Award in 2009.

Q: Is alcohol a public health problem in the U.S.?

A: According to the World Health Organization, alcohol consumption is linked to more than 200 disease and injury conditions. All of these effects place a substantial burden on population health in terms of death and disability, making alcohol consumption one of the 10 leading factors with the most impact on population health.

Alcohol impacts all sectors of society, drinkers and non-drinkers alike, but thanks to targeted industry marketing and availability, we are seeing evidence of high-risk drinking among young women and high rates of alcohol-related problems for under-educated males and minorities. The alcohol industry continues to develop youth-friendly products such as sweet, fruit-flavored alcopops.

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