(a) The Congress finds that–

Terms Used In 42 USC 4541

  • vehicle: includes every description of carriage or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on land. See 1 USC 4

(1) alcohol is one of the most dangerous drugs and the drug most frequently abused in the United States;

(2) approximately ten million, or 7 percent, of the adults in the United States are alcoholics or problem drinkers;

(3) it is estimated that alcoholism and other alcohol related problems cost the United States over $43,000,000,000 annually in lost production, medical and public assistance expenditures, police and court costs, and motor vehicle and other accidents;

(4) alcohol abuse is found with increasing frequency among persons who are multiple-drug abusers and among former heroin users who are being treated in methadone maintenance programs;

(5) alcohol abuse is being discovered among growning numbers of youth;

(6) alcohol abuse and alcoholism have a substantial impact on the families of alcohol abusers and alcoholics and contributes to domestic violence;

(7) alcohol abuse and alcoholism, together with abuse of other legal and illegal drugs, present a need for prevention and intervention programs designed to reach the general population and members of high risk populations such as youth, women, the elderly, and families of alcohol abusers and alcoholics; and

(8) alcoholism is an illness requiring treatment and rehabilitation through the assistance of a broad range of community health and social services and with the cooperation of law enforcement agencies, employers, employee associations, and associations of concerned individuals.


(b) It is the policy of the United States and the purpose of this chapter to approach alcohol abuse and alcoholism from a comprehensive community care standpoint, and to meet the problems of alcohol abuse and alcoholism through–

(1) comprehensive Federal, State, and local planning for, and effective use of, Federal assistance to States, and direct Federal assistance to community-based programs to meet the urgent needs of special populations, in coordination with all other governmental and nongovernmental sources of assistance;

(2) the development of methods for diverting problem drinkers from criminal justice systems into prevention and treatment programs;

(3) the development and encouragement of prevention programs designed to combat the spread of alcoholism, alcohol abuse, and abuse of other legal and illegal drugs;

(4) the development and encouragement of effective occupational prevention and treatment programs within government and in cooperation with the private sector; and

(5) increased Federal commitment to research into the behavioral and biomedical etiology of, the treatment of, and the mental and physical health and social and economic consequences of, alcohol abuse and alcoholism.