An individual's decision to use alcohol and the frequency, quantity, and situations of use are the result of a combination of biological and social factors. Drinking is not only a personal choice, but also a matter of custom and social behavior, and is influenced by access and economic factors including levels of disposable income and cost of alcoholic beverages. Until prevention efforts cease to focus narrowly on the individual and begin to adopt broader community perspectives on alcohol problems and strategies to reduce them, these efforts will fail. The author challenges the current implicit models used in alcohol problem prevention and demonstrates an ecological perspective of the community as a complex adaptive system composed of interacting subsystems. This important volume represents a new and sensible approach to the prevention of alcohol dependence and alcohol-related problems.
Series editor's preface; Acknowledgements; 1. The community system of alcohol use and alcohol problems; 2. Consumption system; 3. Retail sales subsystem: alcohol availability and promotion; 4. Formal regulation and control subsystem: rules, administration and enforcement; 5. Social norms subsystem: community values and social influences that affect drinking; 6. Legal sanctions subsystem: prohibited uses of alcohol; 7. Social, economic and health consequences subsystem: community identification of and responses to alcohol problems; 8. Community-level alcohol problem prevention; References; Index.
"Readers seeking clear and concise formulations about alcohol problems and their prevention will find much value in this work. All levels." Choice
"The book is appropriate for a wide audience that could include prevention scientists, those engaged in a broad range of alcohol studies, students seeking to understand how to apply systems thinking to other problem domains, and sophisticated readers who may not be familiar with alcohol studies but who are seeking a basic understanding of alcohol involved community prevention efforts...The book is rich with well conceived and...well executed charts and graphs to illustrate key concepts." Journal on Alcohol
"Logical, convincing and consistent...certainly worth reading, especially by students of addictions and public health in general." Canadian Journal of Public Health
"This book is a much-needed antidote for an overdose of brain biology in the contemporary understanding of alcoholism...Holder's reader is rewarded by a careful review of the research literature and a strongly expressed view that drinking is a community, not merely an individual, problem." Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic