Funding: NIAAA P50AA005595
Component Director: Nina Mulia, DrPH
It is known that broad, evidence-based public health interventions do not always benefit all segments of the population. In some cases, such interventions result in unintended consequences, creating even greater health disparities. While alcohol policy interventions are a vital tool for reducing excessive drinking and alcohol problems, they have not often been used to mitigate alcohol-related disparities. To use policy interventions to address such disparities, policymakers first need to know whether and which alcohol policies have the effect of both increasing population health and health equity.
Focusing on important upstream and downstream policies that seek to transform the alcohol environment and access to treatment services, this research component aims to determine which policies are most and least effective for different populations. It also aims to estimate the reduction in disparities associated with hypothetical policy changes implemented across the U.S. The resulting information will help policymakers weigh specific policy interventions and combinations of interventions to improve population health and reduce disparities.
A recent study from ARG scientist Nina Mulia and colleagues assessed long-term heavy drinking patterns of racial/ethnic groups and found some surprising results. Consistent with other studies, their research showed a significant decline in White men and women's heavy drinking in their 20's while Black men and women's drinking increased during the same period. The study team defined heavy drinking as having six or more drinks on one occasion. What the research team did not expect to …[Read more]