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 storyNew WHO study shows more action needed to monitor and limit digital marketing of unhealthy products to children
A new report from WHO/Europe calls for greater monitoring of the digital marketing of alcohol, tobacco and unhealthy food products, especially those high in salt, sugar and fat. It comes amid the advertising industry’s continued efforts to target children and adolescents on social media and on difficult-to-track mobile devices.
- Major step towards control of noncommunicable diseases in the WHO European Region
- Better monitoring and support needed to accelerate reductions in youth drinking and binge drinking
- WHO urges stronger action to reduce deaths from noncommunicable diseases in Europe by one third
PublicationsAlcohol consumption, harm and policy response fact sheets for 30 European countries (2018) More publications
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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