From Alcoholism Treatment to the Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy for England: An Overview of Alcohol Policy since 1950
Thom B. Am J Addict. 2005 Oct-Dec;14(5):416-25.
With the publication of the Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy for England in 2004,(1) it is timely to reflect on the social and political contexts that have influenced alcohol policy.
This paper provides an overview of trends in the development of alcohol policy in England since 1950 with a focus on treatment policy. In particular, it traces factors that have prompted change and resulted in the “treatment” response of the 1960s becoming a small part of a larger, complex approach to the “management” of alcohol-related harm.
The publication of the Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy for England(1) and the Interim Analytical Report,(2) which provided the evidence and framework for the strategy, has resulted in fierce debate on the political processes underlying the emergence of the strategy, the extent to which the strategy is “evidence-based,” its strategic aims, and the mechanisms for implementation.
This paper argues that responses to policy statements-like the policies themselves-have to be examined within the political, economic, and cultural contexts of their time.