chapter  23
Developmental Patterns and the Dynamics of Alcohol Problems in Adolescence and Young Adulthood
WithTommy Andersson
Pages 16

Alcohol abuse and alcohol-related harm are widespread and serious problems in many countries today. Despite the very large amount of alcohol research, efforts to reduce these problems have attained only limited success. One obvious reason for this is that existing scientific knowledge cannot always be transformed into effective alcohol policy strategies due to the concurrence of other political and economic interests. Another important reason is the “logistic” difficulties in implementing scientifically based strategies for regulation, prevention, and rehabilitation. A third, and very basic, reason is that despite the enormous amount of existing and ongoing alcohol research, it is still not fully understood why some people become alcoholics or generate alcohol-related harm but most people do not. In general, scientific theories about alcohol abuse focus either on the social perspective, the biological perspective, or the psychological perspective, approaches generating different explanations for the problems, and consequently different solutions (Glanz & Pickens, 1992). Although all of these theoretical approaches have generated important knowledge, none of them has found the “alcohol gene” or the ultimate solution to the problem.