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As a multidisciplinary journal we believe it important to document the dimensions of a problem from the perspective of colleagues in other disciplines. In the Special Feature (p 272) in this issue, Chamberlain and Solomon, both lawyers, set to rest the myth that the hardcore drinking driver is the underlying problem in the drunk driving epidemic. As they note, focusing only or mainly on the hardcore, repeat offender tends to marginalise the problem. Yet this is often done and is used by some as an excuse to inhibit the sort of legislation so badly needed,
The authors' findings make it clear that a large percentage of so-called social drinkers have blood alcohol concentrations in the hardcore range, and that infrequent drinkers have a much higher relative risk of a crash than do heavy drinkers with the same concentrations. Their recommendation that we discard value labels such as “social drinkers” and “hardcore drinkers” is an excellent one. If adopted by legislators this would go a long way to improving the grave situation in Canada and elsewhere.
Understandably, most injury research focuses on causes and how to prevent their consequences. The third part of the classic prevention trilogy, tertiary prevention, is too often overlooked. Thus, we welcome papers that remind readers of the consequences of injuries, physical, psychological, and economic, and how these too might be prevented.
One such paper is that of Ward et al (p 297). It examines an old, but still unresolved question—what happens when children or adolescents are exposed to violence? I was surprised at how prevalent such exposure is in the study setting and it was also unexpected to learn that the psychological consequences of this experience differ depending on the type of violence to which the adolescent is exposed. Regardless of type, however, the mental health …