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 storyPreventing alcohol exposure in pregnancy: examples from Member States
International research shows that, in some countries, up to 82% of pregnant women continue to drink alcohol, despite the fact that there is no known safe limit for drinking during pregnancy. A new WHO/Europe publication shares case studies from countries on raising awareness and providing advice, as well as treatment options for alcohol exposure in pregnancy.
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- Preventing alcohol exposure in pregnancy: examples from Member States
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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