- Alcohol related problems are a major public health concern in the western world. Alcohol use disorders (AUD) are also an important social and medical problem (1-3), as well as less severe alcohol-related problems, associated with significant social costs (4). For example, in 1998 the social costs of AUD in the United States (US) were estimated at $184.6 billion. Although alcohol-abusing drinkers and their families bear some of these costs (e.g., medical and legal costs), the non-abusing population also bears costs related to the adverse social consequences of problems, such as alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes, crime, violence and increased health care costs. AUD as well as other alcohol-related problems are of major concern to clinicians, researchers, and policymakers due to the enormous social costs they impose. For example, as of 2004 in the US, 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico had enacted laws making it illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 grams per deciliter or higher.