WHO supports Member States in improving public health through adequate health promotion, disease prevention, disease management research, and evaluation and surveillance activities on alcohol consumption and harm, in line with the aims of the WHO/Europe framework for alcohol policy.
Alcohol intake in the WHO European Region is the highest in the world. 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, such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, and contributes significantly to unintentional and intentional injuries, including those due to road traffic accidents and suicide. Further, excessive alcohol use during a woman's pregnancy can lead to severe mental handicap of her child.