Second MOPAC project meeting held in Lisbon

WHO

On 23 October, WHO Europe organized the second meeting of the Monitoring of national policies related to alcohol consumption and harm reduction (MOPAC) project. The morning session, held in collaboration with the Alcohol Policy Network, brought together national experts, governmental representatives, nongovernmental organizations and researchers from around the European Union (EU). It focused on policy developments in the EU and globally, and sharing of experiences in reducing youth drinking and heavy episodic drinking. The afternoon session focused on screening and brief interventions (SBIs), and the launch of WHO Europe’s new SBI training resource designed to assist Member States in introducing or expanding their SBI programmes.

Mortality attributed to alcohol remains a significant health problem in the EU

During the morning session, Professor Jürgen Rehm, Executive Director of the Institute for Mental Health Policy Research, presented new calculations of alcohol consumption and alcohol-attributable mortality in the EU. Compared to the WHO European Region as a whole, where consumption declined between 2010 and 2015, consumption in the EU has not changed. Alcohol-attributable mortality remains a significant public health problem in the EU and the new calculation shows that the impact of alcohol on people other than the drinker is a major component of health harm.

Launch of WHO’s training manual for SBIs

A major part of the meeting focused on the new WHO training manual for SBIs and introduced participants to the materials and aspects of implementation. In the session, led by Dr Niamh Fitzgerald, senior lecturer in Alcohol Studies at the University of Stirling, participants were involved in some of the interactive learning methods included in the manual. Dr Joan Colom Farran, Director of the Programme on Substance Abuse at the Public Health Agency of Catalonia, and Dr Frederico Rosario, Manager of the Alcohol-Related Problems Project at the Dão Lafões Primary Health Care Centre Grouping (ACeS) in Portugal, shared their experiences in implementation of SBI models in Catalonia and Portugal.

The MOPAC project

MOPAC, a 3-year project funded by the European Commission, aims to support collaboration between the EU and WHO in monitoring and surveillance of countries’ progress in reducing the harmful use of alcohol.

The MOPAC project meeting was organized with funding from the EU and the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services.