Alcohol Prevention Strategies: Needed for Both men and Women

 

 

Excessive alcohol use is responsible for approximately 88,000 deaths in the united states each year and $249 billion in economic costs in 2010. Excessive alcohol use includes

  • Heavy drinking (defined as consuming 8 or more alcoholic beverages per week for women or 15 or more alcoholic beverages per week for men)
  • Binge drinking (defined as consuming 4 or more alcoholic beverages per week for women or 5 or more drinks per occasion for men)
  • Any drinking by pregnant women or those younger than age 21.

The strategies listed below can help communities create social and physical environment that discourage excessive consumption thereby, reducing alcohol-related fatalities, costs and other harms. (https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/prevention.htm)

 

Some of the recommendations are-

  • Regulations of alcohol outlet density– alcohol outlet density refers to the number and concentration of alcohol retailers (such as bars, restaurants, liquor stores) in an area. Reducing the alcohol outlet density is one of the strategies to reduce alcohol sales and consumption by people.
  • Increasing alcohol taxes – alcohol excise taxes may include wholesale, excise, or sales taxes, all of which affect the price of alcohol. Taxes can be levied at the federal, state, or local level on beer, wine or distilled spirits. (https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa83/aa83.htm)
  • Dram shop liability – Dram shop liability, also known as commercial host liability, refers to laws that hold alcohol retail establishments liable for injuries or harms caused by illegal service to intoxicated or underage customers.
  • Maintaining limits on days of sale – states or communities may limit the days that alcohol can legally be sold or served.
  • Maintaining limits on hours of sale – states or communities may limit the hours that alcohol can legally be sold.
  • Electronic screening and brief intervention (e-SBI) – e-SBI uses electronic devices (e.g., computers, telephones, or mobile devices) to facilitate delivery of key elements of traditional screening and brief interventions. At a minimum, e-SBI involves screening individuals for excessive drinking, and delivering a brief intervention, which provides personalized feedback about the risks and consequences of excessive drinking. (https://www.integration.samhsa.gov/clinical-practice/alcohol_screening_and_brief_interventions_a_guide_for_public_health_practitioners.pdf)
  • Enhanced enforcement of laws prohibiting sales to minors – Enhanced enforcement programs initiate or increase compliance checks at alcohol retailers (such as bars, restaurants, and liquor stores) for laws prohibiting the sale of alcohol to minors
  • Screening and brief intervention for excessive drinking in clinical settings – Screening and behavioral counseling interventions to reduce alcohol misuse by adults, including pregnant women, in primary care settings can identify people whose levels or patterns of alcohol consumption do not meet the criteria for alcohol dependence, but place them at increased risk of alcohol-related harms.11
  • Additional alcohol policies – other policy areas such as laws and regulations related to the minimum legal drinking age and sales to underage youth, privatization or monopolization of alcohol control systems, monitoring of alcohol outlet densities. Restriction in these areas make alcohol less available. (https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa83/aa83.htm)

 

According to me, the prevention strategies should not be different for men and women.

Also by the UK’s new alcohol guidelines advise that men and women shouldn’t drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week.

Earlier the British drinkers presented a higher threshold for men but now the alcohol guidelines are same for men and women. So, what was the evidence that the limits shouldn’t take gender into account. The different risk factors faced by men and women are apparent at higher levels of consumption-what we now call “drinking with increasing risk”.

That is, men who regularly drink more than three or four units a day and women who regularly drink more than this or three units a day. But at levels of consumption lower than this, these differences are not as clear cut. (http://theconversation.com/should-alcohol-limits-for-men-and-women-really-be-the-same-55914

The new guidelines present the message that there is no “safe” level of alcohol consumption but stop short of recommending abstention as the best policy. In fact, the Sheffield data shows that for both men and women drinking up to seven units a week, spread across three or more days, actually has a protective effect on death from an alcohol-related health condition. For men the benefit is very small (a 0.1% improvement), compared with over 2% for women.

References-

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2756494/
  2. https://www.integration.samhsa.gov/clinical-practice/alcohol_screening_and_brief_interventions_a_guide_for_public_health_practitioners.pdf

 

  1. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/alcohol-use-disorder-treatments#1
  2. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/addictions/overcoming-alcohol-addiction.htm
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/prevention.htm
  4. http://theconversation.com/should-alcohol-limits-for-men-and-women-really-be-the-same-55914

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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