Welcome to our latest edition of carefully curated alcohol policy news, latest scientific highlights, and brand-new Big Alcohol revelations.
This week’s special feature provides deeper understanding about alcohol as a risk factor undermining mental health.
The newsletter also includes our most recent Alcohol Issues Podcast episode and upcoming event alerts.

Alcohol Issues Newsletter July 11 – July 15, 2022

This week’s Alcohol Issues highlights

  • Young people call for protection from ‘Dark Marketing’.
  • Using alcohol alone during adolescence predicts alcohol problems in adulthood.
  • Big Alcohol exploits India-UK trade agreement to reduce tariffs, increase profits.

This week’s most popular stories

  • Philippines government plans to increase legal age for alcohol use to 21.
  • First results of alcohol minimum unit pricing in Ireland.
  • WHO Europe: Everything you need to know about alcohol minimum pricing policies.

Special Feature – No. 22

Understanding Alcohol as a Risk Factor Undermining Mental Health

In this alcohol issues newsletter, we explore the growing awareness around the world of alcohol as a risk factor that undermines mental health. Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) released its largest review ever of the state of mental health in the world. The report highlights alcohol and other drug use as a risk factor for mental ill-health and as one of the risk factors that perpetuates the vicious cycle of mental ill-health and poverty.

In this mental health review and other reports, WHO has highlighted the importance of integrating mental health including addressing alcohol into overall healthcare to provide comprehensive healthcare services to people. For example, UNAIDS and the WHO released guidance emphasizing the importance of integrating HIV and mental health services and other interventions, including addressing alcohol, for people living with HIV and other vulnerable populations.

Many countries around the world are facing rising mental health problems, including alcohol use problems. This trend has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, mental health and alcohol support services are failing to meet the rising demand due to a lack of services, funding, and COVID-19 constraints. Low-income and lower-middle-income countries are suffering the hardest impact.

Cuts to mental health services, such as seen in the United Kingdom (UK), are putting children at risk. With rising alcohol use among heavy users due to the pandemic, cuts to mental health and addiction services mean many are not receiving the care they need. An often overlooked result is the harm caused to children who live in households with alcohol problems. Children of households with alcohol problems (CoHAPs) are forced to deal with parents’ or adults’ alcohol and other substance use problems all on their own.

One silver lining is emerging online-based sobriety support groups and communities. Different from the conventional Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) these new programs are giving people more diverse ways to quit or reduce alcohol use, recover from alcohol problems, and stay alcohol-free.

The Alcohol Issues Podcast

S2 E9: Achieving the SDGs Through Alcohol Policy: European Countries Ignore The Potential

In this episode, Kristina Sperkova talks with guest host Pierre Andersson about her brand new research article that investigated if and how European countries address alcohol as an obstacle to development in their efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Kristina and Pierre discuss the evidence of how alcohol impedes sustainable development, and what countries are doing about it. They also talk in detail about the findings of her study that show flawed understanding of alcohol harm leads to lost potential in using alcohol policy as a catalyst for sustainable development – and what concretely means in European countries.

Kristina Sperkova is the International President at Movendi International. She is the lead author of the peer-reviewed research article “Alcohol policy measures are an ignored catalyst for the achievement of the sustainable development goals” that she co-authored with Peter Anderson, and Eva Jané Llopis.

Pierre Andersson is the Policy Advisor for Alcohol and Development at the IOGT-NTO Movement, from Sweden. The IOGT-NTO Movement is a Swedish development organization that works for poverty eradication by supporting partners to tackle alcohol as an obstacle to development. Pierre has extensive experience is journalism as well as development work.

Source Website: Keep Updated with Movendi International