This data-rich work examines today's most compelling and controversial public health issues, including alcohol and drug abuse, AIDS, abortion, black and infant mortality, drug-affected babies, child abuse, teenage pregnancy, and cigarette smoking. Hammerle's theme is that individual behavioral choices often have far-reaching and costly effects. When practiced by large numbers of people, the human and fiscal costs can be monumental, taxing virtually all of our social systems as well as our financial resources. Hammerle enumerates these costs and, employing economic analytical tools, recommends public policies that will reduce the incidence of such behavior or otherwise reduce its social cost. Some recommendations are outside the mainstream, but all are well substantiated and soundly argued. This volume will be of great interest to academics, practitioners, and policy-makers in the fields of public health, health care administration, public policy, child protection, and family planning. The work will also interest economists and sociologists in the field of social welfare, as well as lay persons who are concerned about these timely public health issues.