Here are a couple of great resources uncovered by technical assistance team member Susie Amundson. Have you run across these in your work? Do you know about similar resources you’d like to share? Please feel free to add your questions and comments!
Screening Opportunities for Alcohol Use: Doctor Visits
A recurring question in the Alaska SPF SIG is “How do communities promote significant, lasting reductions in heavy and binge drinking?”
The National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) recently reported that one effective prevention strategy is for health care providers to ask patients about alcohol use and advise them to reduce risky drinking behaviors. In a random survey of more than 4,000 people in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 39 years old, participants who had seen a doctor in the past year were asked about their doctor’s inquiry into their alcohol use or safe drinking practices during the visit.
Of all participants exceeding the NIAAA drinking guidelines (not more than 4 drinks/day for men and 3 for women), only 49% recall being asked about their drinking and only 14% counseled about it. Of adults between ages 18 and 25, only 14% were asked about their drinking by their doctors compared to 54% of adults ages 26 to 39.
Previous studies found that alcohol screenings by health care providers can promote significant, lasting reduction in drinking and alcohol-related problems. Could this be a possibility in your community?
Transforming Community Norms Around Alcohol
As SPF SIG coalitions complete their community-level logic models this month, several of them have included Community Norms as a reason why underage drinking and adult heavy and binge drinking are ongoing concerns in their communities. It’s a common theme across Alaska.
To address how to change community norms and start thinking about strategies, check out the Positive Community Norms model developed at Montana State University, another rural state with a strong drinking culture.
“The Positive Community Norms (PCN) model is a new approach to cultivating community cultures around health and safety issues. PCN is a community (or environmental) transformational approach that engages many different audiences throughout the community for the purpose of improving health and safety. PCN integrates leadership, positive norms communication, and prevention portfolio integration across the social ecology to improve health and safety.”
Sound too good to be true? Just click this link to find out the details and how it’s being used in other communities: http://www.mostofus.org/about-us/what-is-the-positive-community-norms-model/