Alcohol prevention and control consists of a number of evidence-based interventions that are proven solutions to alcohol problems across communities and societies. This page is a library of independent scientific sources providing state-of-the-art insights into the evidence-base behind the most cost-effective and impactful alcohol prevention solutions.
Movendi International strives to disseminate the latest scientific evidence and information in order to empower science-based decision-making and policy formulation to tackle alcohol harm in a comprehensive, sustainable and impactful way.
Alcohol harm can be prevented and reduced through a variety of policy solutions, including measures to address alcohol availability in all its forms, reduce demand, regulate supply, create health promoting norms and environments, deterrence, social control, health and alcohol industry literacy, as well as early intervention, treatment and recovery services.
Science behind alcohol policy best buys
Alcohol policy is defined as any purposeful action or authoritative decision to prevent and minimize alcohol-related harm.
Alcohol policy ‘best buys‘ are scientifically proven the most cost-effective, feasible, and impactful interventions to reduce alcohol consumption at the population level and thus prevent and minimze alcohol harm.
For alcohol policy, the World Health Organization has conclusively established three best buys:
- Increase excise taxes on alcoholic beverages
- Enact and enforce bans or comprehensive restrictions on exposure to alcohol advertising, sponsorship and promotion
- Enact and enforce restrictions on the physical availability of retailed alcohol (via reduced hours of sale).
For every US$ 1 invested in the alcohol policy best buys, there will be a return to society of at least US$9 in increased employment, productivity and longer life, according to a WHO-Bloomberg Philanthropies report.
Overview: Understanding alcohol policy solutions and models
Alcohol consumption brings with it major public health and sustainable development implications. The dangers from alcohol consumption are multiple, pervasive and varied in kind and degree spanning dimensions of health and well-being of individuals, social development, social justice and social equality, economic prosperity and productivity, as well as human rights and global human development.
Public health and sustainable development responses must be commensurate with the burden that alcohol harm causes in order to minimize and prevent population-level harm.
Population-level alcohol policies (universal interventions) are catalysts for health promotion, disease prevention, equality, prosperity, and human rights – especially if and when they are implemented in an integrated manner and complemented with interventions directed at high-risk indoviduals and communities.
- Alcohol: No Ordinary Commodity – a summary of the second edition, by Babor et.al., in Addiction, 2010
- The Effects of Nordic Alcohol Policies: What happens to drinking and harm when alcohol controls change? NAD Publication, 2002
- World Bank Papers: Alcohol-Related Problems as an Obstacle to the Development of Human Capital Issues, Policy Options, Cercone, 1994
Reducing alcohol affordability
Increasing the economic cost of alcohol relative to other commodities and purchasing power of consumers will reduce demand for alcohol, consumption and in doing so alcohol harm.
- What happened to alcohol consumption and problems in the Nordic countries when alcohol taxes were decreased and borders opened? by Room et. al., in IJADR, 2013
- Price Policies to Reduce Alcohol-Related Harm in Canada, Alcohol Price Policy Series, Report 3 of 3, November 2012
- Alcohol taxation policy in Thailand: implications for other low- to middle-income countries, by Sornpaisarn et.al., 2011
- How to sell alcohol? Nordic alcohol monopolies in a changing epoch, by Cisneros and Olafsdottir, 2008
Limiting alcohol availability
Reducing the supply of alcohol by limiting the physical availability will reduce overall alcohol consumption in thus alcohol harm.
- How Alcohol Outlets Affect Neighborhood Violence, by Stewart, PIRE
- The association between alcohol outlet density and assaults on and around licensed premises, by Burgess and Mofett, 2011
- Did the 18 drinking age promote high school dropout? Implications for current policy, by Plunk et.al., 2015
- Case closed: research evidence on the positive public health impact of the age 21 minimum legal drinking age in the United States, by DeJong et.al., 2014
Regulating alcohol marketing
Reducing exposure to alcohol marketing – which normalizes, promote and glamorizes alcohol use and increases psychological and social availability of alcohol – will prevent and decrease recruitment of new alcohol consumers, protect alcohol abstainers – especially children and youth, and will reduce heavy alcohol consumption.
- Monitoring Alcohol Marketing Practices in Africa (MAMPA project). Findings from The Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda, 2011
- Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance, 2011: Alcohol Advertising: A Global Legal Perspective
Science of alcohol prevention
Prevention strategies based on scientific evidence working with families, schools, and communities can ensure that children and youth, especially the most marginalized and poor, grow and stay healthy and safe into adulthood and old age.
For every dollar spent on prevention, at least ten can be saved in future health, social and crime costs, according to the WHO and UNODC.
The economic benefits of prevention
- International standars on drug use prevention. UNODC
- A Case for Investing in Youth Substance Abuse Prevention. The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse
- Economic Benefits of Preventing Disease
- Cost-Benefit of Prevention. Review of research literature. Southwest Prevention Center University of Oklahoma, October 2014
- The Economics of Prevention. Research Insights, 2012
- The economic argument for the prevention of ill‐health at population level. or Working Group on Public Health Policy Framework May 2012
- Grandparents Play an Important Role in Preventing their Grandchildren from Drinking and Using Drugs. 2012 The Partnership at Drugfree.org
- Mental health promotion and mental illness prevention: The economic case. Editors: Martin Knapp, David McDaid and Michael Parsonage, Personal Social Services Research Unit, London School of Economics and Political Science, April 2011
- The Economic Argument for Disease Prevention: Distinguishing Between Value and Savings. A Prevention Policy Paper Commissioned by Partnership for Prevention
- What have we learned from economic analyses of prevention. Louise B. Russell, PhD; Australia, March 2009
The prevention paradox
- Drinking patterns and the distribution of alcohol-related harms in Ireland: evidence for the prevention paradox by O’Dwyer et al. in BMC Public Health, 2019
- Alcohol-Related Injuries: Evidence for the Prevention Paradox, by Spurling and Vinson, 2005