Alcohol-related injuries comprise a large percentage of injuries in the United States. As the impact of these injuries on society increases, a well-functioning trauma system becomes increasingly important. During the last decade, evidence-based guidelines to reduce alcohol-related injuries have emerged. Further, evidence supports the effectiveness of brief intervention programs to reduce alcohol-related injuries and demonstrates that trauma centers can improve patient outcomes by integrating them into care. Although many obstacles have inhibited progress and made implementing preventive interventions a difficult task, economic constraints are among the biggest challenges to implementing intervention programs as part of routine trauma care.
From the Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma, University of California, San Diego, California.
Submitted for publication December 21, 2004.
Accepted for publication December 21, 2004.
This article was written for the proceedings from a conference entitled “Alcohol and Other Drug Problems Among Hospitalized Trauma Patients: Controlling Complications, Mortality, and Trauma Recidivism” in Washington, DC, May 28–30, 2003. It does not reflect the official policy or opinions of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and does not constitute an endorsement of the individuals or their programs—by CDC, HHS, or the federal government—and none should be inferred.
Address for reprints: David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, UCSD Medical Center, 200 West Arbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92103-8896; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.