Alcohol harm is pervasive in communities and societies around the world, affecting people from all walks of life and reaching into all parts of society. The stories published on the Global Voices Blog Portal in 2020 reflect this diversity of alcohol issues. They range from exposing the alcohol industry, to alcohol harm during COVID-19, from analysis of the WHO Global Alcohol Status Report to exploration of the link between alcohol and cancer, from analyzing the alcohol norm to alcohol policy reflections.
Here are the most-read opinion articles from 2020:
Alcohol harm during COVID-19
Early on during the pandemic, our Global Voices Maik Dünnbier and Mona Örjes wrote about key issues: raising awareness of the dangers of alcohol use for the immune system and raising concerns about children’s rights and well-being during lockdowns, especially considering vulnerable children, such as kids from families with parental alcohol problems.
Alcohol and society: norms and justice
The alcohol norm – the social and cultural pressures and expectations around the presence and effects of alcohol – is an major determinant of alcohol harm. Our Global Voice Lucas Nilsson therefore has written about ways to understand the alcohol norm in an opinion piece that received much attention. And Maik Dünnbier explored the alcohol-cancer link from a social justice dimension, elucidating how big the burden is and how low public recognition and awareness is; he explains why this is a social justice issue.
Big Alcohol Exposed
Still before the coronavirus crisis broke out, two of our Global Voices experts published opinion articles with unique analysis, that was widely read. Kristina Sperkova wrote about how Big Alcohol tried to hijack feminist values to sell more vodka. And Shehara Cooray analyzed the 2018 WHO Global Alcohol Status Report to compile an overview of what it says about the alcohol industry.
Alcohol policy potential
Alcohol harm is rampant but scientifically proven, cost-effective and high-impact alcohol policy solutions are available. And they hold vast and largely untapped potential to really make a positive difference in people’s lives, and for societies’ development and health. Kalle Dramstad wrote about Swedish data showing the impact of the lockdowns on alcohol consumption and what that means with regard to alcohol policy potential. And Aadielah Maker Diedericks made the case for concrete alcohol policy solutions to address South Africa’s alcohol burden.