The Alaska Native Health Board has spent considerable time and money in dealing with alcohol abuse problems with the State of Alaska. The overall purpose of these efforts was to evaluate a large population of alcoholics state-wide, in order to determine adult alcoholism severity and the associated characteristic relationships. The Alaska Native Health Board will assess the severity of alcoholic problems as they relate to the physical, social, and economic factor's in dealing with alcoholism. Secondly, the board wanted to identify specific client characteristics that would lead to a better understanding of prevention methods. The project will determine funding requirements and future funding allocations. If implemented, the proposed recommendations could assist in reducing potential alcoholic abuse in future generations while, at the same time, providing support and assistance to present alcoholic abusers. The Alaska Native Health Board developed an instrument to assess the severity of alcohol problems as a monitoring tool for use by the Agency. The first approach was quantitative in nature and attempted to categorize symptoms into three major factors: 1) physical; 2) social and 3) economical. Each factor had more than one subdivision. A disability index was built on a continuum, increasing in severity from stage zero to stage five. The data was collected through interviews with the agency. The second approach was also quantitative, but was based on a 75 item questionnaire that was given to the 409 clients during which the individual answered the self-administered form. Precautions were taken to safeguard the identity of the client during data collection. Of the 409 clients in the project, only 32 responses were received on follow-up data. This low number of responses prevented any meaningful statistical inferences. The data collected by the Agency identified some interesting characteristics of alcoholic clients. Clients described themselves as: 1) intelligent and sensitive (64%); 2) impatient (64%); 3) no physical handicaps (78%); 4) no trouble speaking English (84%); and 4) (75%) admit to having a drinking problem. The program agency personnel are encouraged to continue to collect data so that this report will be accepted as an on-going effort.
Indian Health Service, Staff Office of Planning, Evaluation and Research, Rockville, MD 20857 (E-40).
Adult alcoholism severity and client characteristics in Alaska. Indian Health Service, Staff Office of Planning, Evaluation and Research, Rockville, MD 20857 (E-40). 1976