Thomas Babor

Thomas F Babor, PhD, MPH, is a Professor Emeritus and former Chairman in the Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, USA. His academic training is in social psychology, addiction science and psychiatric epidemiology. His research interests include screening, diagnosis, early intervention, and treatment evaluation, as well as alcohol and drug policy. He has worked with the World Health Organization on the development of Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and the Alcohol, Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST). He is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, and the co-author of Alcohol: No Ordinary Commodity (2022) and Drug Policy and the Public Good. (2018). He is currently the Director of the Graduate Certificate Program in Addiction Science, which provides advanced training to graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in alcohol and drug research.

Strategies and interventions: What the evidence says

The extensiveness of the options with evidence of effectiveness (53 out of 69 options across all seven categories) shows that the policy solutions developed to deal with alcohol are not only numerous but are also extraordinarily diverse, ranging from individual therapeutic services for persons with alcohol-related problems to population-level strategies designed to influence the affordability, availability and allure of alcohol for the general consumer. The following policy options stand out as ‘best practices’: alcohol taxes, minimum legal purchase age, government monopoly of retail sales, restrictions on hours or days of sale, sobriety check points, lowered BAC limits, Low BAC levels for young drivers; Intensive breath-testing, random where possible; intensive supervision programs.