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 storyBelarus makes progress in tobacco control
On 11–13 April 2016, Dr Lars Moeller, Programme Manager, Alcohol and Illicit Drugs at WHO/Europe, visited Belarus to discuss the country's progress in tobacco control.
- Expert meeting to review publication on prevention of harm caused by alcohol exposure in pregnancy
- New initiatives for children’s health showcased in Latvia on World Health Day
- Data validation of first study on harmful use of alcohol and tobacco in Tiraspol
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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