Local alcohol prohibition, police presence and serious injury in isolated Alaska Native villages
Article first published online: 27 FEB 2006
Volume 101, Issue 3, pages 393–403, March 2006
How to Cite
Wood, D. S. and Gruenewald, P. J. (2006), Local alcohol prohibition, police presence and serious injury in isolated Alaska Native villages. Addiction, 101: 393–403. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2006.01347.x
- Issue published online: 27 FEB 2006
- Article first published online: 27 FEB 2006
- Submitted 23 April 2004; initial review completed 9 July 2004; final version accepted 21 September 2005
- Alaska Natives;
Aims To consider the effects of alcohol prohibition and police presence upon serious injury in isolated Alaska Native villages.
Design We compared rates of injury attributed to assault, self-harm, motor vehicle collisions and ‘other causes’ between villages with or without local prohibition and between villages with or without local police. Negative binomial regression was used to assess the relative effects of prohibition and police presence upon serious injury rates net of potential confounders.
Participants A total of 132 isolated Alaska Native villages between the years 1991 through 2000.
Measurements Serious injury was measured using Alaska Trauma Registry and Alaska Bureau of Vital Statistics death certificate records. Local option election records were used to classify cases as occurring in wet or dry villages and police deployment records were used to classify cases as occurring in villages with or without local police. Village-level statistics from the 1990 and 2000 US censuses were used in the negative binomial regression analyses.
Findings Villages that prohibited alcohol had lower age-adjusted rates of serious injury resulting from assault, motor vehicle collisions and ‘other causes’. Dry villages with a local police presence had a lower age-adjusted rate of serious injury caused by assault. Controlling for the relative effects of village isolation, access to alcohol markets and local demographic structures, local prohibition was associated with lower rates of assault injuries and ‘other causes’ injuries while local police presence was associated with lower rates of assault injuries.
Conclusions Residents of isolated Alaska Native villages are safer when they prohibit alcohol. A local police presence in dry villages provides further reduction of the incidence of assault.