Alcohol and Other Drugs
Reducing Alcohol MisuseComprehensive Strategies
What Is A Comprehensive Approach? Comprehensive health promotion strategies include multiple interventions that influence individual behavior change as well as policy and environmental change.
They are designed to appeal to groups of people in a community, rather than working with individuals one-on-one. Therefore, comprehensive approaches to health promotion work on a community-wide level.
A balanced community approach is designed to1:
- Develop conditions within a community that encourage and support healthy choices and lifestyles (e.g., promoting norms and public policies that support appropriate use)
- Promote internal assets or traits and skills within individuals that allow them to make healthy choices (e.g., education, skills training, alternatives, peer support)
- Provide treatment and relapse prevention for chemical dependency
Prevention is conducted on a community-wide basis because public health considers not whether a specific activity or policy has an observable effect on given individuals, but whether changes in behavior cause demonstrable changes in a population of many people.
Public health philosophy holds that even small changes in behavior by large numbers of people can result in substantial net benefits to society in terms of reduced problems for the population as a whole.1
Elements of a Comprehensive Approach 2,3
- Alcohol advertising and promotion
- Economic disincentives for alcohol use
- Counter-marketing campaigns and initiatives
- Comprehensive school-based prevention initiatives
- Preventing availability of alcohol to underage youth
- Assessment, evaluation and research
- Treatment of alcohol addiction
- Policy *
- Enforcement *
- Collaboration *
- Communication *
- Education *
- Early Intervention
*Note: these 5 strategies are the key strategies for promoting change in the larger physical and psychosocial environment.
- Guidelines for Communitywide Chemical Health Promotion. MDH, 1991
- Tobacco Use Prevention and Reduction in Minnesota: A Report on Elements, Roles and Costs of a Comprehensive Approach. MDH, 1999.
- Preventing Problems Related to Alcohol Availability: Environmental Approaches. Reference Guide. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. 1999.
- Prevention: What’s Science Got to Do with It? CSAP’s Northeast Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies. 2001.
- Changing the Larger Environment: Critical Components. Northeast Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies. 1999.
- Strengthening Families and Protecting Children from Substance Abuse. Appendix B: Improving the Larger Environment. Northeast Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies. 1999.