The elephant outside the room: Thoughts on treatment policy from a population perspective

First published: 10 May 2019 | Last updated: 10 June 2019

A difficult issue in planning ways to help people with alcohol problems is that most will never access treatment. This talk will discuss some of the treatment policy implications of a health concern where the majority of those affected do not seek help and explore: 1) why people with alcohol problems don’t come to treatment; 2) what differentiates treatment attendees from those who don’t seek help; 3) what happens to problem drinkers who don’t come to treatment; and 4) what does the general public think happens to people who don’t come to treatment. The talk concludes with the suggestion that one component of a comprehensive treatment policy is to find ways to take treatment to those in need rather than making those in need come to treatment.


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John Cunningham