The Act-Belong-Commit campaign is the world's first comprehensive, population-wide, community-based program to promote mental health. However, its potential for preventing substance use disorders is unknown. Further, a literature gap is evident concerning behavioral modification strategies to prevent such disorders. The aim of this study was to prospectively assess the association between indicators of the Act-Belong-Commit behavioral domains and the development of problem drinking. Data from two waves of the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) were analyzed. The sample consisted of 3611 adults aged ≥50years. A validated scale for problem drinking was used. The number of social/recreational activities engaged in was used as an indicator of Act, social network integration as an indicator of Belong, and frequency of participation in these social/recreational activities as an indicator of Commit. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were conducted to assess associations between baseline indicators of Act-Belong-Commit and the development of problem drinking at two-year follow-up. Each increase in the number of social/recreational activities (Act) inversely predicted the onset of problem drinking. Similarly, being well integrated into social networks (Belong) was negatively associated with the development of problem drinking. Finally, frequency of participation in social/recreational activities (Commit) also inversely predicted the onset of problem drinking. These associations were apparent regardless of the presence of baseline common mental disorders. Act-Belong-Commit indicators are shown to be associated with a reduced risk for problem drinking. This lends further support to the Act-Belong-Commit domains and has wide-ranging implications for preventing substance use disorders in the aging community.
- Journal Article