Alcohol -3rd highest risk to causing disease and death in EU.

Tackling alcohol related harm

The direct costs through healthcare, crime, policing, accidents and productivity losses were €155 billion in 2010.

EU strategy to support Member States in reducing alcohol related harm identifies common priorities, including the need to develop common evidence base and monitoring, and the need to inform and raise awareness on alcohol related harm.

These are instrumental for the priorities to protect children, young people and the unborn child, to reduce harm among adults and to reduce harm due to drink driving.

The prevalence of harmful drinking was chosen as one key indicator for monitoring progress against the EU strategy.

European policymakers will discuss the importance, relevance and implementation of policy and action to reduce alcohol related harm across Europe. They will participate in a  policy dialogue in the framework of the European Joint Action on reducing alcohol related  harm (RARHA).

The policy dialogue, which is organised and moderated by EuroHealthNet,  aims to provide new knowledge and tools based on RARHA outcomes in three areas in  particular:

(1) monitoring of drinking patterns and harm,

(2) drinking guidelines, and

(3)  finding good practice examples and building a tool kit.

RARHA’s executive coordinator Manuel Cardoso from the General Directorate for Intervention on Additive Behaviours and Dependencies in Portugal said that “RARHA has contributed greatly to enhance knowledge about alcohol related harm in Europe and how to handle it. This event is a great opportunity to showcase this to European policymakers and urge them to strengthen their actions in this field.”

The work on ‘monitoring’ was twofold. On the one hand, partners developed the Standardised European Alcohol Survey (SEAS) instrument, which was implemented in 20 European countries and covers policy-relevant issues, like alcohol consumption, risky single occasion drinking, context of drinking, drinking problems with focus on harm from others, attitudes towards alcohol policy as well as unrecorded supply.

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