Hungary takes on the challenge of reducing harmful effects of alcohol

Over 40 Hungarian experts participated in a workshop in Budapest on 25 November 2011 to discuss the importance of reducing the harmful effects of alcohol with a special focus on prevention, including early intervention.

Alcohol consumption in Hungary is relatively high and leads to approximately 8.000 avoidable deaths per year. Most of disease-related indicators show unfavourable figures in comparison to EU member states, and in many cases Hungary performs under the level of its socio-economic development. Alcohol-related research has no regular budget in the country - basic level data collection activity is carried out by several state agencies of different sectors. Alcohol-prevention, alcohol-related policy planning, implementation and evaluation has no regular financial support either. However, Hungary has examples of success in some fields of alcohol-related policy making. The well-planned and implemented campaign against drink driving has remarkable and favourable effects, which can be measured in lives saved and prevented health damages.

Based on the work carried out over the past two years, the State Secretariat for Health of Hungary agreed to make necessary changes in legislation to provide incentives for alcohol prevention and early intervention in primary care.