Brief interventions could help reduce alcohol use in Europe, says report


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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People in Europe continue to consume more alcohol than people in other parts of the world, with a new report showing 290,000 people are dying in Europe each year from alcohol-attributable causes. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has published a Status report on alcohol consumption, harm and policy responses in 30 European countries 2019, which uses data gathered from 2010 to 2016. It shows rates of harmful alcohol consumption in Europe have not dropped as expected, even though all countries have signed the European Action Plan to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol 2012-2020. 

According to the report, on average, adults in European Union (EU) countries plus Norway and Switzerland (EU+) drink the equivalent of more than two bottles of wine per week. However, when life-time abstainers and former drinkers are excluded, the data show adults drink more than three bottles of wine a week. 

The report also highlights that heavy episodic drinking is also a problem in the region. Almost a third of people reported having consumed more than 60 g of pure alcohol on a single occasion in the last 30 days. 

The report suggests implementing screening and brief interventions for harmful and hazardous alcohol use in primary healthcare.

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