1. Section Editor(s): Kennedy, Maureen Shawn MA, RN
  2. Zolot, Joan Solomon RPA-C
  3. Sofer, Dalia


Community efforts pay off.


Article Content

A recent study, published in the November 8, 2000, Journal of the American Medical Association, showed that high-risk alcohol consumption can be reduced through several community-based interventions. These include encouraging responsible beverage service; reducing underage drinking by limiting access to alcohol; increasing local enforcement of drinking-and-driving laws; and limiting access to alcohol through zoning.


From April 1992 to December 1996, these measures were implemented in three communities (two in California and one in South Carolina) of approximately 100,000 residents each; results were compared with those from three control communities in which no interventions were implemented.


Participants' self-reporting showed that the following declined in the intervention communities: the amount of alcohol consumed per person per occasion (by 6%), the frequency of "having had too much to drink" (by 49%), and driving when "over the legal limit" (by 51%). Data showed declines in nighttime injury crashes (by 10%), crashes in which the driver had been drinking (by 6%), and assault injuries observed in emergency departments (by 43%).