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Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2008 Apr;83(4):640-3. doi: 10.1038/sj.clpt.6100502. Epub 2008 Feb 27.

Public alcohol policy: current directions and new opportunities.

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Public Health and Regulatory Policies, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Alcohol policy has been shown to have an impact on the incidence and prevalence of alcohol "addiction," or alcohol use disorders (AUDs), as currently defined by the International Classification of Diseases, volume 10, or by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition. We will mainly use the term "addiction" to depict a state involving loss of control over intense urges to consume alcohol, even at the expense of adverse consequences. This definition goes beyond pure "physiological dependence." We will use the term AUD when referring to statistics based on the above-described definitions. In this overview we identify the pathways in the relationship between alcohol policy and addiction, present the empirical evidence, and draw conclusions. Special emphasis will be put on treatment policy.

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