Alcohol consumption and alcohol dependence in the EU: room for improvement
Created on Thursday, 10 May 2012 23:13
by Jürgen Rehm & Kevin Shield
Alcohol consumption has long been a major risk factor leading to mortality, morbidity, and social harms in the EU, with a large proportion of this burden being caused by heavy consumption. Alcohol dependence is arguably the most problematic health consequence of alcohol consumption from a public health view.
A substantial portion of the alcohol‐related burden in the EU is avoidable; cost‐effective measures such as taxation of alcohol, bans on alcohol marketing, and drunk‐driving countermeasures have the potential to reduce the burden at the population level, and interventions such as pharmacotherapy, counselling, cognitive behavioral therapy, and motivational interviewing may reduce the burden at the individual level. In our recently published book, Alcohol consumption, alcohol dependence and attributable burden of disease in Europe, we estimate the burden of mortality attributable to all alcohol consumption, to heavy drinking and to alcohol dependence, and evaluate the effect on this burden of increasing the number of individuals who receive treatment for alcohol dependence.