• Alcohol Control Policy and Native American Communities

      Berman, Matthew (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1998)
      There is a long-standing debate over the degree to which control of alcohol supply is effective or makes sense as a policy direction for prevention of alcohol and drug abuse. The arguments on both sides of the control-of-supply debate are probably familiar to most alcohol researchers. However, it may be useful to review some empirical studies relevant to prevention policy for Native American populations. The remainder of the paper begins with a brief review of studies measuring effects of price and availability on alcohol consumption among North American and European populations. Then the review moves to focus on studies of alcohol control among Native Americans. Much of this research generally challenges the idea that alcohol prohibition is likely to be an effective prevention strategy for most Native American communities. The paper next proposes a more complete model of drinking behavior that may reconcile the conflicting findings of the prevention literature and help frame questions of alcohol policy. The more complete model motivates a set of testable hypotheses about the effectiveness of alcohol control among American Indians and Alaska Natives. The concluding section discusses the implications for research on alcohol policy for Native Americans.