Alcohol: No Ordinary Commodity - Research and Public Policy Second Edition is a collaborative effort by an international group of addiction scientists to improve the linkages between addiction science and alcohol policy. It presents, in a comprehensive, practical, and readily accessible form, the accumulated scientific knowledge on alcohol research that has a direct relevance to the development of alcohol policy on local, national, and international levels. It provides an objective analytical basis on which to build relevant policies globally and informs policy-makers who have direct responsibility for public health and social welfare. By locating alcohol policy primarily within the realm of public health, this book draws attention to the growing tendency for governments, both national and local, to consider alcohol misuse as a major determinant of ill health, and to organize societal responses accordingly.
The scope of the book is comprehensive and international. The authors describe the conceptual basis for a rational alcohol policy and present new epidemiological data on the global dimensions of alcohol misuse. The core of the book is a critical review of the cumulative scientific evidence in seven general areas of alcohol policy: pricing and taxation, regulating the physical availability of alcohol, modifying the environment in which drinking occurs, drinking-driving countermeasures, marketing restrictions, primary prevention programs in schools and other settings, and treatment and early intervention services. The final chapters discuss the current state of alcohol policy in different parts of the world and describe the need for a new approach to alcohol policy that is evidence-based, realistic, and coordinated.
It will appeal to those involved in both addiction science and drug policy, as well as those in the wider fields of public health, health policy, epidemiology, and practising clinicians.
A companion volume published by Oxford University Press, 'Drug Policy and the Public Good', is also available.
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Thomas Babor is a Professor and Chairman in the Department of Community Medicine and Health Care, University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He holds the University's Physicians Health Service endowed chair in Public Health and Community Medicine. Dr. Babor received his doctoral degree in social psychology from the University of Arizona in 1971. He spent several years in postdoctoral research training in social psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and subsequently served as head of social science research at McLean Hospital's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Center in Belmont, Massachusetts. Since 1997 he has been chairman of the Department of Community Medicine and Health Care at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He is Associate Editor-in-Chief as well as Regional Editor of the international journal, Addiction. His research interests include screening, diagnosis, early intervention, and treatment evaluation, as well as cultural and policy issues to alcohol and drug problems.
Review from previous edition: "This book is a joy to read. Throughout the text is clear and jargon-lite ... Overall, an essential addition to the library of any public health department or addiction service. Clinicians wanting a starting point for examining the evidence for various
interventions will find it very useful, and we can but hope that policy maker take note."
Health Matters issue 61, Autumn 2005
"The chapters effectively summarise and synthesise the current state of knowledge, and provide a tremendous resource for those interested in alcohol-related problems and their prevention... This book, prepared with support from WHO, builds directly on two similar volumes from previous decades.
It will obviously be a central reference used by those specifically working on alcohol, but also makes key contributions to understanding and designing effective prevention policies and programmes for the full range of contemporary health problems."
--The Lancet 03/04/2004
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