The misuse of alcohol causes a range of health, legal, social and employment problems for the individual and the rest of society. Many agencies are involved in dealing with the consequences of alcohol misuse and providing services to those with problems. Sources of funds to finance interventions for drinkers whether from health authorities, social services, probation or other sources are very limited. Without some coordination there will be a tendency for each funder to shift responsibility and costs. These difficulties have been recognised and in 1989 a government health circular was issued emphasising the need for the development of local multi-agency alcohol misuse prevention strategies. Implementing policies such as community care and Health of the Nation also require multi-agency co-operation if they are to fulfil their aims. The survey of the development of local alcohol strategies reported in this paper (Wallace et al, 1993) is therefore of great interest.
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