Building an Evidence-based Social Movement.
It is with much enthusiasm and anticipation that we welcome you to the nation’s capital for the Alcohol Policy 18 Conference, convened by the U.S. Alcohol Policy Alliance. We would be honored to have you join us in April as we continue our focus on translating alcohol policy research into public health practice by building an evidence-based social movement.
The U.S. Alcohol Policy Alliance was organized in 2014 by advocates across the country and is a coalition of state and local coalitions working on alcohol policy and independent of commercial interests. It is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization. On behalf of the U.S. Alcohol Policy Alliance and the AP18 Planning Committee, we welcome you and know that you’ll find many reasons to attend AP18.
We are especially grateful for the partnership and leadership of our principal sponsor, Project Extra Mile, a Nebraska-based nonprofit organization advocating for evidence-based policies and practices to prevent and reduce alcohol-related harm. With courage and tenacity, they provide a strong example of the way forward in building an evidence-based social movement.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that alcohol consumption caused 3.3 million deaths in 2012 – nearly 6 percent of all deaths worldwide. With a multitude of short- and long-term health risks associated with alcohol consumption (including alcohol poisoning, increased cancer risk, motor vehicle crashes, alcohol dependence and alcoholism, homicides, suicides, stillbirths, heart disease and stroke), communities are often desperate for effective measures to stem the tide. Alcohol Policy 18 will continue to provide opportunities for bridging the gap between the evidence and action using rigorous alcohol policy research to inform effective responses at the community, state and national levels.
Attendees of AP18 will come together in support of effective alcohol policy research and practice to tackle the enormous alcohol-related harm impacting our families and communities. Alcohol Policy 17, convened in 2016, saw representatives from 41 states and more than a dozen countries in attendance. AP18, like every conference before it in this series, is not only a gathering of a wide range of professionals committed to translating sound alcohol policy research into public health practice, but it is also an exhibition of unparalleled commitment.
As we gather for AP18, we inch closer to marking nearly four decades of presenting this scientific forum for the benefit of translating the evidence into community action. This fact is a testament to the astounding dedication, commitment and perseverance of the professionals who make up the alcohol policy field. It also speaks highly of those individuals who continue this work sacrificially with dogged determination in the face of diminishing public resources.
We are each needed in the efforts to reach our shared vision of a nation free from alcohol-related death, disease and injury. This work requires a renewed dedication, focus and tenacity on behalf of our communities. As you join us in April, know that you will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with others like yourself who are leading the way in the alcohol policy field, even in the face of evident challenges. Because together, that vision becomes reality as we build an evidence-based social movement by moving from evidence to action.
U.S. Alcohol Policy Alliance
Timothy Naimi, MD, PhD
Boston University School of Medicine