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Alcohol prevention in the Swedish workplace – who cares?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).
2004 (English)In: Contemporary Drug Problems, ISSN 0091-4509, E-ISSN 2163-1808, Vol. 31, no 2, 263-285 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article we discuss what interest, and whose interest, there is in working with alcohol and drug prevention in workplaces. As the Swedish alcohol policy has weakened, alternative ways for primary prevention are sought. Public reports have pointed out the workplace as one arena for prevention that could compensate for the government's diminishing alcohol control. Will this work? What conditions are necessary in order to work successfully with these issues in a corporate environment? Several studies have suggested that there is little interest in working with prevention in workplaces, and this study supports this finding. This study involved interviews at 16 companies in Sweden with personnel managers, employees (in focus groups), union representatives, and in some cases the company's health care department. In a preliminary stage the findings verified our hypothesis that the overall interest in primary prevention in reality is not that strong. The participants in the study believed that the responsibility lies in intervention when the alcohol or drug problem has arisen, and there is really not much the company can do to prevent people from using alcohol or drugs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 31, no 2, 263-285 p.
Keyword [en]
Prevention, workplaces, alcohol policy, alcohol problems
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
General Criminology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-59044OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-59044DiVA: diva2:424817
Available from: 2011-06-20 Created: 2011-06-20 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Mission Impossible? Universal Alcohol Prevention at Workplaces in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mission Impossible? Universal Alcohol Prevention at Workplaces in Sweden
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Since the mid 1990s, alcohol policy in Sweden has undergone major changes and the restrictive policy instruments have been weakened. Alternative and compensatory preventive measures have been sought and the workplace is repeatedly referred to as an important and appropriate arena for prevention. Universal methods, such as disseminating information and education programs, are seen as crucial in order for individuals to be able to make informed choices about their alcohol consumption.

The overall purpose of this thesis is to analyze the prerequisites for and the possibilities and barriers associated with alcohol education programs at workplaces. The first paper investigates the general interest in alcohol prevention at workplaces where no interventions had been undertaken. The second paper is an effect study which investigates the effects of a short alcohol education program provided to those employed at a company in Stockholm. In the third paper, the effects of a day-long alcohol education program provided to all persons employed by a municipality are studied. The fourth paper is an interview study, in which the aim is to analyze how the participants in alcohol education programs view their participation and the content and legitimacy of the intervention.

The findings suggest that interest in prevention at workplaces is low among employers. In addition, there are difficulties linked to implementation and evaluation, and in achieving and registering any substantial effects. The effect studies noted a significant increase in alcohol-related knowledge and that binge drinking decreased among those who drank the most. The employees found the education programs interesting and valuable but mostly for others, i.e. those who drink too much. Taken together, the studies suggest that it is not reasonable to believe that workplace-based prevention will become a common and effective measure or that it will compensate for the weakened alcohol policy in Sweden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Criminology, Stockholm University, 2013. 77 p.
Series
Avhandlingsserie / Kriminologiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet, ISSN 1404-1820 ; 31Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs, ISSN 1650-819X ; 11
Keyword
alcohol, prevention, alcohol policy, education, intervention, workplaces, evidence-based methods
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
General Criminology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-88173 (URN)978-91-7447-633-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-04-19, hörsal 4, hus B, Universitetsvägen 10 B, Stockholm, 09:30 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Accepted. Paper 3: Submitted.

Available from: 2013-03-26 Created: 2013-03-08 Last updated: 2013-05-03Bibliographically approved

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