Unhealthy Alcohol Use Workgroup

Group Chair: John Bunker, New Futures

A workgroup convened in 2007 to provide expert guidance on the issue of unhealthy alcohol use in New Hampshire. The state's plan for New Hampshire "Overcoming the impact of Alcohol and Other Drug Problems" released in April of 2007 provided the group a wealth of data and direction from which to proceed. The group's expertise on the state's public health system and cultural consideration helped guide focus areas for 2008_2009.

Recommendations:

  • Support funding, policy efforts and expansion of New Hampshire's Server Trainer and Last Drink programs.
  • Explore policy barriers (e.g. reimbursement) and support efforts to bring brief intervention initiatives to New Hampshire.
  • Support appropriate data collection on health consequences and costs of unhealthy alcohol use.
  • Collaborate with general public health awareness campaign efforts to include unhealthy alcohol use.

Recent Events:

June 24, 2008

Building Alcohol Intervention Options for NH:
Focus on Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral and Treatment Programs

Purpose: Engagement of New Hampshire's general health care community in Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral and Treatment Initiatives (SBIRT) for unhealthy alcohol use. 

We convened a group of health care professionals and administrators to discuss SBIRT with the focus and intent to:

  • Raise awareness of existing screening and brief intervention activities, initiatives, and programs currently in New Hampshire.
  • Increase the use of screening and brief intervention in health care practices across New Hampshire.
  • Increase collaboration and coordination of screening and brief intervention initiatives.
  • Identify barriers to implementing screening and brief intervention initiatives in NH.
  • Reduce the harms associated with excessive alcohol use.

Presentations and handout are available below:

Keynote presentation:
SBIRT: A National Perspective, John Higgins-Biddle, Ph.D

Handouts:
Screening Instruments
SBIRT in NH: Summaries of Participants

June 6, 2008

Alcohol Tax Briefing

During the second half of 2007, the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention policy team convened a group of experts in New Hampshire to discuss and review public health interventions to decrease unhealthy alcohol use.  This review led to the establishment of two priorities for 2008.  One of these is to learn about the relationship between alcohol tax and reduction in unsafe alcohol use.  The other priority is to expand New Hampshire's coordination and collaboration on Screening, Brief Interventions, Referral, and Treatment (SBIRT) initiatives.  We are planning a conference on June 24, 2008 focused on SBIRT. 

The June 6th briefing was convened to bring New Hampshire policy makers up to date on the health benefits of alcohol tax.  The morning included a presentation by George Hacker from the Alcohol Policies Project of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Mr. Hacker provided an overview of the public health research on the relationship between alcohol taxes, alcohol usage, and health outcomes.  The morning ended with a round table discussion with all participants.

Presentations from the day are available below:

Alcohol Tax Briefing-John Bunker
Small Change, Big Difference: Understanding Issues Related to Increases in Alcohol Taxes-George Hacker