Alcohol and Other Drugs

Reducing Alcohol-Related Problems


Alcohol and other drugs contribute to numerous public health and public safety problems in Minnesota and the nation. Alcohol contributes to injury, violence, homicide, suicide, sexual assault, fires, falls, and drowning. Alcohol is associated with many chronic conditions such as fetal alcohol syndrome, cirrhosis and other liver disorders, certain cancers, digestive diseases and cardiovascular conditions.

For over 20 years the prevention of alcohol and other drugs has focused on two primary efforts: awareness raising/education and school-based programs. Though these efforts have drawn much attention to the problem of youth alcohol and other drug use, their overall impact alone was minimal. Numerous variables affect alcohol and other drug use, including adult behavior, advertising and promotion, availability, price, and perceived and real community and cultural norms.

A population-based health promotion approach which includes a combination of awareness raising, education, and formal and informal policy changes and adaptations in multiple community settings provides an opportunity to address these issues more comprehensively.

Visit MDH’s alcohol and other drug abuse prevention website. You will find a variety of tools and useful information for reducing alcohol and other drug abuse problems in communities.

Also visit MDH’s Healthy Minnesotans Strategies for Public Health, Volume 2 - Alcohol Strategies (PDF: 72 pages/1.02M) – Look under the “Alcohol and Other Drug Use” category starting on page 5.

Additional Resources