Drinking and Casualties: Accidents, Poisonings, and Violence in an International Perspective

Drinking and Casualties: Accidents, Poisonings, and Violence in an International Perspective

Drinking and Casualties: Accidents, Poisonings, and Violence in an International Perspective

Drinking and Casualties: Accidents, Poisonings, and Violence in an International Perspective

Synopsis

The contributors assess the information on 'drinking casualties' - the victims of accidents, poisonings, and violence - and how it can be used effectively to develop preventive policies and programmes.

Excerpt

Norman Giesbrecht, René González, Marcus Grant, Esa Österberg, Robin Room, Irving Rootman and Leland Towle

Background

In the late 1970s and early 1980s there were several developments which contributed to the planning activities which eventually led to this volume. In the course of a seven country analysis of post-war developments in control, consumption and drinking-related consequences, participants in the International Study of Alcohol Control Experiences noted gaps and shortcomings in information on alcohol-related complications, particularly with regard to social complications and acute or violent incidents (Mäkelä et al. 1981, Single et al. 1981, Giesbrecht et al. 1983).

Reviews of the literature on casualties and trauma and alcohol, conducted in the late 1970s (Aarens et al. 1977) and early 1980s (Roizen 1982), indicated that with the possible exception of rough prevalence estimates and some linkages to socio-demographic and personal characteristics, research to date provided a fuzzy picture of the dimensions of drinking-related casualties. The research also pointed to the apparent disjunction between, on the one hand, the rough prevalence estimates which suggested that casualties were a major factor in overall morbidity and mortality and that a substantial proportion in some way or other were related to drinking, and, on the other hand, the fact that with the exception of drinking and driving, casualties and alcohol had not been a major theme in alcohol research literature or a focus of prevention initiatives.

Also, in the 1980s major international or regional studies were underway in which alcohol-related casualties were a central or major theme. The Joint Nordic Study of Alcohol Problems, involving participants from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, examined postwar . . .

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