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Addiction. 1995 Apr;90(4):515-24.

Prevention strategies and alcohol policy.

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  • 1Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University.


This paper addresses the potentials of high risk strategy and population strategy for preventing mortality from liver cirrhosis, accidents and suicide. The methodological approach is based on an integration of an empirical distribution of consumption and the risk functions of the damages at issue. According to the findings, the rate of alcohol-induced mortality from the three causes combined would be halved either by a 25 per cent decrease in overall consumption or a 36 per cent decrease in the alcohol consumption of the heavy drinkers (the top 5 per cent). The high risk strategy is most efficient in preventing cirrhosis; however the effect of the population strategy is also quite substantial here. The comparative advantage of the population strategy is most marked in connection with accidents and suicide, but the high risk approach yields an appreciable impact in this context as well. That is, neither of the two strategies appears as clearly superior to the other in terms of efficiency. The high risk strategy thus seems to be a sensible complement to the population strategy, and should have the potential of yielding effects on the population level if implemented on a large scale.

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