162979 Alcohol-related problems and effective policies in the Canadian context: Improving the match between population level damage and societal response

Tuesday, November 6, 2007: 12:35 PM

Norman Giesbrecht, PhD , Public Health and Regulatory Policy Section, Social, Prevention and Health Policy Research Department, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, ON, Canada
Jürgen Rehm, PhD , Social, Prevention and Health Policy Research Department, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, ON, Canada
Edward Adlaf, PhD , Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, ON, Canada
Is there a match between the scope, type and level of damage from alcohol in Canada, and evidence-based interventions and policies to control this damage? To answer this question, this presentation will consider: recent studies of alcohol-related mortality and morbidity in Canada and findings from several national surveys; international evaluations that identify effective prevention and policy responses; and scans of provincial and national policies and prevention strategies focusing on alcohol-related trauma and chronic problems. Drinking patterns and overall consumption are associated with social problems, damage and mortality among Canadians. The net mortality (after ‘substracting' deaths prevented by moderate consumption) is estimated at 4,010, with 144,143 years of life lost prematurely in 2001. The estimated direct and indirect cost was $14.55 billion in 2002. A 2004 national survey found that 23% of current drinkers surpassed the low-risk drinking guidelines, 17% were considered to be drinking hazardously, and in the past year up to 22% of all respondents report harm or social disruption due to drinking by others. Effective policies and interventions are evident for some contexts, e.g. drinking and driving, brief interventions, but some effective interventions have only limited applications. However, population-level interventions are needed for alcohol-related cancers and other chronic diseases, some types of trauma, and social problems. Archival and survey data show an increase in overall consumption and high risk drinking; future initiatives need to place more attention to most effective policies, the full range of alcohol-related problems and high risk populations in all age groups.

Learning Objectives:
1. The participants will learn about the range, scope and complexity of the damage from alcohol in Canada. 2. They will be cognizant of whether there are some alcohol-related social or chronic problems that do not currently have effective population-level interventions. 3. The participants will obtain an overview of options for how to close the gap so that major problems from alcohol are addressed with effective policy and prevention responses. 4. They will be advised of what additional research, monitoring and advocacy will facilitate progress in this area.

Keywords: Policy/Policy Development, Alcohol Problems

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.