Alcohol intake in the WHO European Region is the highest in the world. The harmful use of alcohol is related to premature death and avoidable disease and is a major avoidable risk factor for neuropsychiatric disorders, cardiovascular diseases, cirrhosis of the liver and cancer. It is associated with several infectious diseases and contributes significantly to unintentional and intentional injuries. Further, excessive alcohol use during a woman’s pregnancy can lead to severe mental handicap of her child.WHO/Europe's alcohol policy framework
Top storyResearch demonstrates higher alcohol taxes help reduce alcohol consumption
“Tax increases may not sound the most attractive of policy options, but are the single most cost-effective way of diminishing demand and reining back consumption,” says Dr Daniel Chisholm, Programme Manager in the Division of Noncommunicable Diseases and Promoting Health through the Life-course at WHO/Europe and co-author of a new study on alcohol control policies.
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Policy resourceEuropean action plan to reduce the harmful use of alcohol 2012–2020
The European action plan to reduce the harmful use of alcohol 2012–2020 includes a range of evidence-based policy options to reduce the harmful use of alcohol.
Data and statistics
1 in 5 people
Aged 15 years+ report heavy episodic drinking (5 or more drinks on an occasion, or 60g alcohol) at least once a week.
More data and statistics