This project is designed to increase our understanding of the ways that community environments affect alcohol problems. We are simulating how people behave in specific environments and how what they see and hear and with whom they interact affects their risks for alcohol-related problems. We can think of communities and the people in them as complicated systems.
Fortunately, in recent years, new tools have been developed to aid in the analysis of complex community systems. In this Center component, we will use the Framework for Reconstructing Epidemiologic Dynamics (FRED) platform. This is a computer simulation model that represents the demographic and geographic characteristics of the population down to a fine geographic resolution (Census Blocks). It allows us to examine how specific characteristics of communities contribute to or prevent alcohol problems and how different types of prevention interventions might affect these problems.