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Examining the Linkage Between Alcohol Policy and Services Research

Chriqui J. Frontlines: Linking Alcohol Services Research and Practice: 2004.

Public policies affect us all on a daily basis—at our place of work, in our access to needed health care services, in our risk of becoming a victim of crime, and in many other aspects of our lives. Fundamentally, a public policy is a governmental action designed to modify, initiate, or ameliorate an existing situation. Public policies are developed by governments at all levels federal, state, and county or municipal— and may take the form of law, regulation, or judicial decree. Most health services research studies address some type of public policy issue and take place within a broader political, social, and cultural context.

A number of current policy discussions and actions at both the federal and state levels are very relevant for the alcohol treatment services research community. These include state insurance statutes that impinge on providers’ provision of alcohol screening services in trauma centers as well as continued emphasis on substance abuse parity and welfare reform. Articles in this issue of Frontlines specifically address each of these topics.

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