For forty years, the Prevention Research Center of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation has been funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to investigate environmental causes and correlates of alcohol use, abuse, and alcohol-related problems in communities in the United States.
Under the direction of P.I. Mallie J. Paschall and Associate Director Paul J. Gruenewald, the new round of the Center Grant (2022-2027) is focused on increasing our understanding of the social ecology of alcohol and other substance use, and how environmental prevention strategies affect alcohol use and the harms that come from it.
We will examine how regulatory or institutional policies, such as beverage taxes, minimum legal drinking age laws, restrictions on the numbers of retail outlets, and social host laws constrain or increase alcohol availability, and how they affect how people obtain alcohol, the contexts and situations in which it is consumed, and risks related to drinking in those contexts.
The conceptual framework of the new Center Grant, below, provides examples of regulatory policies that shape alcohol availability in economic, physical, legal, and social domains. The figure also illustrates how alcohol availability in these domains can influence how people obtain alcohol how they may adapt to constraints on alcohol availability, and how that affects contexts of alcohol use along with locational, situational, and social characteristics of drinking contexts.
This framework also provides a basis for identifying novel approaches to environmental prevention. Our goal is to better understand whether and how environmental interventions affect alcohol and other substance use.
The components of the new Center Grant and the scientists who lead them are profiled in a section of this website devoted to the Center Grant here: Center Grant .