ARG has been actively engaged in research for more than 50 years and is now an organized unit within the Public Health Institute. Scientists represent a variety of disciplines including epidemiologists, psychologists, economists, and those in public health specialties, among others. Principal funders include the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Our current annual funding is approximately $5.5 million.
A major component of ARG’s activities is centered on epidemiology of drinking patterns, which we study in depth, and how these and many other factors, both individual, especially gender, racial/ethnic, sexual minority, and socioeconomic disparities, and environmental, such as neighborhood disadvantage and state and local policies, affect alcohol-related problems. These problems include alcohol use disorders and associated social and health harms such as, for example, injuries, drinking driving, work, legal, health and family or relationship difficulties, various co-morbidities such as mental health and other drug use, and alcohol-related mortality. In addition we strive always to improve measurement, data collection and analytic methodologies.
We engage in National Alcohol Surveys conducted every 5 years to monitor these conditions among US adults and subgroups, and focusing especially on racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities. Our health services research involves a range of national, state and local data collections to support studies of organizations, service providers, help seeking, access to care including use of emergency departments and primary care, ‘natural recovery’, and alcohol policies and public policy opinions. Thus we study a wide range of community responses to alcohol problems including informal reactions to and confrontations of problem drinkers, mutual aid groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, medical and specialty services that treat alcohol use disorders, as well as community-based organizations, and environmental and regulatory interventions designed to address alcohol-related harms.
We are interested in regional, national and international dimensions of alcohol consumption and problems. ARG’s research portfolio has grown to include studies involving other drug use and treatments, economic issues related to alcohol such as taxation, price and expenditures, childhood and adult economic hardships and trauma, and issues such as depression, anxiety, stigma, and racism.
For more information on the breadth of our research, download a full list of ARG’s grants from 2000 to present (PDF).