European Alcoho... / Media Centre / Eurocare Newsle... / 2011 / September - Oct... / News from the WHO / Action Plan to reduce the harmful use of alcohol adopted by 53 countries in Europe  


Action Plan to reduce the harmful use of alcohol adopted by 53 countries in Europe

A new action plan to reduce the harmful use of alcohol was adopted at the WHO European Region meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan from 12 to 15 September 2011.

The five main objectives of the plan build on previous European plans, and align with the WHO global strategy on alcohol, to:
- raise awareness of the magnitude and nature of the health, social and economic burdens due to alcohol;
- strengthen and disseminate the knowledge base;
- enhance capacity to manage and treat alcohol-related disorders;
- increase mobilization of resources for concerted action; and
- improve surveillance and advocacy.

The plan highlights ten action points, each presented with following strategies and options for action.
- leadership, awareness and commitment
- health services’ response
- community and workplace action
- drink–driving policies and countermeasures
- availability of alcohol
- pricing policies
- marketing of alcoholic beverages
- reducing the negative consequences of drinking and alcohol intoxication
- reducing the public health impact of illicit alcohol and informally produced
- monitoring and surveillance

Furthermore, the plan looks at the role of the WHO Regional Office for Europe, where leadership, capacity building, monitoring and surveillance and knowledge dissemination are key areas. The Regional Office will support government bodies at national and subnational levels to formulate, develop and implement adequately financed action plans on alcohol with clear objectives, strategies and targets. The Regional Office will continue, in partnership with the European Commission and WHO headquarters, to maintain and further develop the European Information System for Alcohol and Health to bring together and analyse alcohol monitoring and surveillance information based on agreed and established comparable data and definitions.

The plan also recognizes the role of NGOs in supporting alcohol policies, and the Regional Office will strengthen its processes of consultation and collaboration with NGOs and relevant professional bodies that are free of conflict of interest with the public health interest.