By Harold D. Holder

An individual's selection to exploit alcohol and the frequency, volume, and events of use are the results of a mix of organic and social components. ingesting isn't just a private selection, but in addition a question of customized and social habit, and is stimulated by way of entry and fiscal elements together with degrees of disposable source of revenue and value of alcoholic drinks. till prevention efforts stop to concentration narrowly at the person and start to undertake broader neighborhood views on alcohol difficulties and techniques to lessen them, those efforts will fail. the writer demanding situations the present implicit types utilized in alcohol challenge prevention and demonstrates an ecological point of view of the group as a fancy adaptive procedure composed of interacting subsystems. this significant quantity represents a brand new and good method of the prevention of alcohol dependence and alcohol-related difficulties.

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Extra info for Alcohol and the Community: A Systems Approach to Prevention

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The Social Norms Subsystem establishes the community's values or norms about drinking and influences the patterns of drinking in the community. In turn, the current actual level of drinking sets a standard for the future acceptable level of drinking; that is, feedback exists between actual and acceptable levels of drinking. The Social Norms Subsystem reflects the concerns of the community about alcohol problems. For example, an increase in drinking and driving problems (themselves the result of patterns of drinking and driving influenced by the Social Norms Subsystem) can result in increased community concern.

1994). As discussed in greater detail in Chapter 3, availability of alcohol and demand for alcohol (expressed as sales) are reciprocally related; greater outlet densities are related to greater alcohol consumption and vice versa (Gruenewald, Ponicki & Holder, 1993). , the age at which one can legally purchase alcohol) can result in changes in the quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption by young people. Basing their research on national adolescent drinking studies in the US, Maisto & Rachal (1980) reported that in areas where the drinking age is higher, per capita consumption among the young is lower.

Positive feedback loops are growth-producing processes, by which growth generates further action that results in further growth. For example, population growth, and housing and highway construction can form a positive feedback loop, whereby population growth stimulates construction, which in turn stimulates additional population growth. Negative feedback loops tend to regulate the system towards some objective or to constrain tendencies to grow (or decline) without limit. The control of heating with a thermostat is an example of a negative loop: the thermostat compares the actual temperature to the desired (set) temperature and activates the furnace when the temperature drops below that level, to maintain a relatively constant (equilibrium) temperature.

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