Alcohol-related problems and public hospitals: Defining a new role in prevention

David H. Jernigan, James F. Mosher, Diane F. Reed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-352
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of public health policy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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