Progress and Problems in Treating Alcohol Abusers

HRD-76-163: Published: Apr 28, 1977. Publicly Released: Apr 28, 1977.

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Although progress has been made in the treatment of alcohol abusers as a result of Federal and State efforts, problems still exist in the development of a cohesive national program.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and State planning for treatment programs should concentrate more on: (1) obtaining information on the size of the alcohol-abusing population, its demographic characteristics, and geographic distribution; (2) updating inventories of and capacity data on existing treatment facilities; (3) allocation of funds on the basis of program need as well as population and State financial needs; (4) development of measurable program objectives, and (5) improvement of communication between the Institute and the States. In addition, the Institute needs more formal coordinating procedures for obtaining assistance from other Federal agencies. Progress has been made in better program and project evaluations. Until standards are refined and made final, however, no conclusion can be drawn as to whether changes in drinking patterns are reasonable in relation to the program's costs. Since project objectives were not expressed in quantitative terms and target dates, progress in program-goals achievement was not measurable.

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