Application of the public health model of primary prevention to the prevention of alcohol-related problems suggests that public hospitals can be significant partners in community-based prevention efforts. Injury and illness related to alcohol use place a high level of demand on public hospital resources, and their participation in prevention efforts is a promising and underutilized way of reducing this demand. Avenues of participation in prevention include improved data collection and reporting, identification and referral of problem-drinking patients, greater dissemination of data on alcohol-related problems to the general public, liaison with victim assistance groups and community-based alcohol-problem prevention organizations, involvement in public policy regarding alcohol use, and the development of prevention messages from a medical perspective. Implementing some or all of these approaches can be done with little extra cost, through using local government alcohol program staff and resources, integration of alcohol-related problem prevention issues into staff training, liaison with professional educational institutions with expertise on alcohol, networking with alcohol policy organizations, incentives for staff participation in health-related professional organizations giving alcohol policy issues higher priority, and the development of a permanent on-site prevention component.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health