Excessive Alcohol Use In Crisis-affected Societies : A Weak Spot of Global Mental Health Research and Practice

It is a positive development that researchers dealing with conflict-affected populations have become mindful of the complex interplay of contributing factors concerning the development and perpetuation of mental health disorders, and their role in the transmission and perpetuation of violence. For instance, it has become common to integrate multiple contextual, intra-, and inter-individual factors using conceptual frameworks (e.g., adaptations of Bronfenbrenner’s socio-ecological model) and longitudinal research strategies (e.g Amone-P’olak et al., 2013).
Despite the encouraging advances in crisis mental health in the last two decades, the vast majority of studies have focused on disorders like posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. While being recognized in epidemiological studies with military samples that consistently find elevated rates of substance use disorders (SUDs) in personnel with war-zone exposure (for a review see Kelsall et al., 2015), the study of SUDs has largely been neglected in war-affected civilian populations.