Alcohol is not an
ordinary commodity. While it carries connotations of pleasure
and sociability in the minds of many, harmful consequences of
its use are diverse and widespread
From a global perspective, in order to reduce the harm caused
by alcohol, policies need
to take into account specific situations in different societies.
Average volumes consumed and patterns of drinking are two
dimensions of alcohol consumption that need to be considered in
efforts to reduce the burden of alcohol-related problems.
Avoiding the combination of drinking and driving is an example
of measures that can reduce the health burden of alcohol.
Worlwide, alcohol takes
an enormous toll on lives and communities, especially in
developing countries and its contribution to the overall burden
of disease is expected to increase in the future. Particularly
worrying trends are the increases in the average amount of
alcohol consumed per person in countries such as China and India
and the more harmful and risky drinking patterns among young
National monitoring systems need to be developed to keep track
of alcohol consumption and
its consequences, and to raise awareness amongst the public and
policy-makers. It is up to
both governments and concerned citizens to encourage debate and
formulate effective public health policies that minimize the
harm caused by alcohol.
This text is a summary of:
Global Status Report on Alcohol