Non-Fiction Books:

Alcohol: No Ordinary Commodity

Research and Public Policy


Paperback / softback

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Alcohol: No Ordinary Commodity
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Alcohol: No Ordinary Commodity - Research and Public Policy Second Edition is a collaborative effort by an international group of addiction scientists to improve the linkages between addiction science and alcohol policy. It presents, in a comprehensive, practical, and readily accessible form, the accumulated scientific knowledge on alcohol research that has a direct relevance to the development of alcohol policy on local, national, and international levels. It provides an objective analytical basis on which to build relevant policies globally and informs policy-makers who have direct responsibility for public health and social welfare. By locating alcohol policy primarily within the realm of public health, this book draws attention to the growing tendency for governments, both national and local, to consider alcohol misuse as a major determinant of ill health, and to organize societal responses accordingly. The scope of the book is comprehensive and international. The authors describe the conceptual basis for a rational alcohol policy and present new epidemiological data on the global dimensions of alcohol misuse. The core of the book is a critical review of the cumulative scientific evidence in seven general areas of alcohol policy: pricing and taxation, regulating the physical availability of alcohol, modifying the environment in which drinking occurs, drinking-driving countermeasures, marketing restrictions, primary prevention programs in schools and other settings, and treatment and early intervention services. The final chapters discuss the current state of alcohol policy in different parts of the world and describe the need for a new approach to alcohol policy that is evidence-based, realistic, and coordinated. It will appeal to those involved in both addiction science and drug policy, as well as those in the wider fields of public health, health policy, epidemiology, and practising clinicians. A companion volume published by Oxford University Press, 'Drug Policy and the Public Good', is also available.

Author Biography

Thomas Babor is a Professor and Chairman in the Department of Community Medicine and Health Care, University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He holds the University's Physicians Health Service endowed chair in Public Health and Community Medicine. Dr. Babor received his doctoral degree in social psychology from the University of Arizona in 1971. He spent several years in postdoctoral research training in social psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and subsequently served as head of social science research at McLean Hospital's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Center in Belmont, Massachusetts. Since 1997 he has been chairman of the Department of Community Medicine and Health Care at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He is Associate Editor-in-Chief as well as Regional Editor of the international journal, Addiction. His research interests include screening, diagnosis, early intervention, and treatment evaluation, as well as cultural and policy issues to alcohol and drug problems. Raul Caetano is a psychiatrist and an epidemiologist who has written about alcohol consumption, drinking problems, and about the relationship between drinking and intimate partner violence among U.S. ethnic minorities. He is also interested in the development of methodology to identify and diagnose alcohol problems, in the cross-cultural validity of diagnostic categories such as alcohol abuse and dependence and in public health policy in the alcohol field. He is Dean and Professor of Health Care Sciences and Psychiatry at the Southwestern School of Health Professions, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, and he is also Professor of Epidemiology and Regional Dean of the Dallas Regional Campus, University of Texas School of Public Health. Sally Casswell is Professor of Social and Health Research and the Director of the Centre for Social and Health Outcome Research and Evaluation (SHORE) at Massey University and a fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Her research interests are in social and public health policy, particularly in relation to alcohol and other drugs, social survey design, evaluation research and community engagement. Current research projects include studies of the impact of alcohol marketing on young New Zealanders, and of the impact of drinking on other than the drinker. Professor Casswell is involved in international alcohol policy as a member of the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Drug Dependence and Alcohol Problems and in the provision of technical advice. Professor Casswell has an active involvement with the NGO sector including GAPA (Global Alcohol Policy Alliance) and APAPA (Asia Pacific Alcohol Policy Alliance) and is involved in collaborative work on alcohol in South East Asia and the Pacific. Griffith Edwards was Director of the Addiction Research Unit of the Institute of Psychiatry from 1967 to 1994 and assisted in the foundation of the National Addiction Centre. He was closely involved for many years in the British drugs advisory system, advised the White House, and was a member of the relevant WHO Advisory panel. Edwards is Assistant Commissioning Editor, Addiction; former Editor-in-Chief, Addiction; and author of Alcohol: the world's favourite drug. Norman Giesbrecht is Senior Scientist, Public Health & Regulatory Section, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, and has a cross-appointment with the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. He received Ph D from U. of Toronto in Sociology (1980). His research includes: impacts of policies on drinking-related harm, assessments of the policy development process, impacts of drinking patterns on trauma and chronic disease, community-based prevention strategies and public health priorities. In 2007 he received a life-time achievement award from the American Public Health Association (APHA). He has been a participant in several WHO-affiliated projects, and is currently the chair of the Publications Board of APHA. He is active in chronic disease prevention organizations in Toronto, as well provincially and nationally. Kathryn Graham (Ph.D, Psychology) is a Senior Scientist and Head of Social and Community Prevention Research at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in London, Ontario, Canada, Adjunct Research Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Western Ontario, and Professor (Adjunct), National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia. Her current research focuses on the role of alcohol in aggressive behaviour both in licensed premises and between intimate partners, the social context of aggression and gender differences in the relationship between alcohol and aggression. Her work in the community has included the development and evaluation of the Safer Bars program to reduce aggression in licensed premises. In 2002, Dr. Graham received the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal for her contributions to applying research knowledge to community interventions. Joel W. Grube, Ph.D. is Director and Senior Research Scientist at the Prevention Research Center, Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, in Berkeley, California. He was a member of the Institute of Medicine/National Research Council Committee on Developing a Strategy to Reduce and Prevent Underage Drinking (2003-2003) for the National Academies of Science. He is currently a member of the National Academies of Science/National Research Council Transportation Research Board Committee on Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Transportation (2003-present). His research focuses on social-psychological and environmental factors influencing drinking and other problem behaviors among adolescents and young adults. His current projects include longitudinal studies of community policies and underage drinking and tobacco use. Dr Linda Hill is a policy researcher who has worked on alcohol issues since 1995, for the University of Auckland's Alcohol and Public Health Research Unit, the New Zealand Drug Foundation, and on projects for government agencies. Much of this work has related to liquor licensing, including the roles of local governments and public health agencies. She has written on alcohol advertising for two international books on alcohol research and policy. In 2004-05 she worked for the Global Alcohol Policy Alliance, supporting networking among Pacific Islands NGOs and monitoring globalization by the alcohol industry. Since 2006 she has been a senior researcher with the SHORE Centre, Massey University, Auckland, and is retiring this year. Dr. Holder is a Senior Research Scientist of the Prevention Research Center (PRC) of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, Berkeley, California. He was director for 18 years. Dr. Holder was one of the first researchers to undertake controlled studies on the economic benefits of alcoholism treatment. Dr. Holder was chosen, by a board of distinguished international scientists, as the recipient of the 1995 Jellinek Memorial Award for his research on social and economic factors of alcohol consumption, and the impact of changes in alcohol availability on alcohol problems. He received the President's Award from the Society for Prevention Research in 2001 for scientific leadership, and in 2005, Dr. Holder was given a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Research Society on Alcoholism Ross Homel is Foundation Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, and Director of the Griffith Institute for Social and Behavioural Research, a virtual network of over 100 academic staff in the social and behavioural sciences. He has held senior research management positions within Griffith University since 1993 including as Director of the highly successful Australian Research Council Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance between 2004 and 2007. He was responsible (with Jan Carter) for establishing a national set of research priorities to advance the wellbeing of children and young people and for setting up a new Australian Research Council research network, while undertaking a half time role with the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth in 2002 and 2003. With a background in statistics and criminology, Michael Livingston commenced research into alcohol policy and alcohol-related harm in 2006 and has a growing local and international profile. Michael has applied a range of quantitative methodologies to alcohol epidemiology and alcohol policy analysis. In 2007, Michael was awarded the Kettil Bruun Society for Social and Epidemiological Research on Alcohol young scientist award for work examining how alcohol availability related to violence. Michael has recently awarded a Sidney Myer Fund Health Scholarship to fund doctoral studies in the School of Population Health at the University of Melbourne to expand his research into the effects of changes in liquor licensing regulation on alcohol-related problems. Esa OEsterberg works currently as senior researcher at the Alcohol, Drugs and Addiction department of the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki, Finland. Prior to his current position he worked in 1973-1996 as a researcher at the Social Research Institute of Alcohol Studies and in 1966-2008 as a senior researcher at the Alcohol and Drug Research Group of the National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health. In Finland, OEsterberg has had the main responsibility for the estimation of unrecorded alcohol consumption since 1984. At the moment he also participating the Nordic Tax Study investigating the effects of recent alcohol tax changes in the Nordic countries and Border Trade with alcohol in the Nordic Countries (GRAN). Jurgen Rehm (Ph.D. psychology and methodology; University Mannheim 1985) has been working in the area of substance use for over a decade and is Co-Head of the "Public Health and Regulatory Policy " section at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Canada. He also holds a Chair position in Addiction Policy, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, and is heading a section on epidemiological research at the TU Dresden, Germany. He has been responsible for the Comparative Risk Assessment (CRA) on alcohol within the Global Burden of Disease 2000 study, and is currently Co Principal Investigator of the CRA on the same topic within the GBD 2005 study. Dr. Rehm has also been PI on numerous projects for the World Health Organization, the World Bank, the National Institutes of Health and various governments. Robin Room is an Australian sociologist who worked for many years in alcohol and drug studies in the U.S., Canada, Norway and Sweden. Since 2006, he has been a Professor in the School of Population Health of the University of Melbourne and the Director of the AER Centre for Alcohol Policy Research at Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre. He has worked on social, cultural and epidemiological studies of alcohol, drugs and gambling behaviour and problems, and studies of social responses to alcohol and drug problems and of the effects of policy changes. Ingeborg Rossow is Research Director at the Norwegian Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research.
Release date Australia
February 23rd, 2010
Edited by Thomas F. Babor
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
2nd Revised edition
11 black and white line drawings and 1 black and white halftone
Oxford University Press
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