Prevention

Primary prevention is the education of at-risk populations to avoid problems. Family physicians have the power to identify families with alcoholism and provide education to the children and adolescents who are at risk. Primary prevention includes the community; a Chinese proverb says the physician who also cares for the community is the "best physician." Family physicians can offer universal screening for alcoholism and alcohol abuse; this is an example of the secondary level of prevention in their practice. The evidence for effectiveness of "designated driver" and school-based drinking and driving prevention programs has been insufficient (Ditter et al., 2005; Elder et al., 2005). School prevention programs noted as effective include the Michigan Model for Comprehensive School Health Education (Shope et al., 1996).

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