The Essential Handbook of Treatment and Prevention of Alcohol Problems

The Essential Handbook of Treatment and Prevention of Alcohol Problems

The Essential Handbook of Treatment and Prevention of Alcohol Problems

The Essential Handbook of Treatment and Prevention of Alcohol Problems

Synopsis

The last three decades have seen an explosion of social, psychological and clinical research to identify effective strategies to prevent and treat alcohol-related problems. This "Essential Handbook" contains an updated selection of reviews of "what works" drawn from the critically acclaimed International Handbook of Alcohol Dependence and Problems. Selected specifically for health and other professionals, who need to provide effective responses in their work, these authoritative, science-based reviews are a distillation of the more practical elements, designed to save time for the busy practitioner.

Excerpt

Alcohol has been the most widely used mood-altering substance from earliest recorded history. The idea that alcohol consumption sometimes causes medical, personal, social and other harms is as old as the manufacture and consumption of alcohol itself. Today more alcohol is consumed than ever before and the World Health Organization (2002) estimates that globally alcohol misuse caused 1.8 million deaths in the year 2000, compared with only 0.2 million from the use of illicit drugs. Alcohol was the third leading cause of preventable death and disability globally (after smoking and high blood pressure) and in some developing regions of the world alcohol is the leading cause of preventable death and disability (WHO, 2002).Alcohol misuse is also implicated in serious social, economic and legal problems, placing a substantial burden on economically developed and developing countries alike.

In counterpoint to these depressing statistics, the last three decades have also seen an explosion of social, psychological and clinical research to identify effective strategies to prevent and treat alcohol-related problems. This book contains an updated selection of reviews of “what works” in the treatment and prevention of alcohol problems drawn from the critically acclaimed International Handbook of Alcohol Dependence and Problems (Heather et al., 2001). These reviews provide authoritative summaries for health and other professionals concerned to provide effective responses to alcohol-related problems.

The International Handbook of Alcohol Dependence and Problems was intended to provide a high-level, comprehensive coverage of the entire field of alcohol studies. It contained six sections, 42 chapters and 892 pages, and was aimed primarily at a library market. The substantial text was very favourably reviewed but the book was inevitably expensive and, in fact, priced outside the purchasing range of many practitioners in the area of alcohol problems treatment and prevention, the very people with whom we were most concerned to communicate.

It was therefore decided to produce a slimmed-down and more affordable version of the handbook and this has resulted in the present volume. The problem of which chapters to leave out and which to keep was easily solved; since the new book was aimed mainly at practitioners in the field, we decided that it was the chapters in the last two parts of the International Handbook on the treatment and the prevention of alcohol problems that would have most practical relevance to our intended readership and which it was therefore essential to retain. It should immediately be noted that this Essential Handbook of Treatment and Prevention of Alcohol Problems is not a new edition of the retained chapters from the International Handbook but rather an updated reprint of them. We asked authors to restrict themselves to a few, minor changes—mainly to updates on factual information . . .

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