Europe joins actions to reduce alcohol related harm

Joint action on reducing alcohol related harm brings together more than 60 partners representing 27 member states from the European Union, plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.

During the next 3 years, they will work together and share knowledge and expertise with the main aim of reducing the harm associated with alcohol.

Why is alcohol a priority in European Public Health? Alcohol is the 3rd risk factor for disease and death in the European Union. The direct costs through healthcare, crime, policing, accidents and productivity losses were €155 billion in 2010. The EU strategy to support Member States in reducing alcohol related harm identifies common priorities, including the need to develop common evidence base and monitoring, and the need to inform and raise awareness on alcohol related harm. These are instrumental for the priorities to protect children, young people and the unborn child, to reduce harm among adults and to reduce harm due to drink driving. The prevalence of harmful drinking was chosen as one key indicator for monitoring progress against the EU strategy.

In order to face these challenges, a Joint Action has been founded aiming at supporting Member States to take forward work on the common priorities identified in the EU Alcohol Strategy Among the partners participating, there are public bodies, non-governmental organizations, research institutions, international organizations, and others with longstanding expertise in alcohol, in a clear recognition that alcohol related harm is a complex issue, which requires the collaboration between diverse interest groups.

RARHA is a 3 years action, which was officially launched on the 31st January 2014 at the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) headquarters in Lisbon, one of the partners involved. The project consists of a total of six work-packages (WP), three of them focusing core work areas providing cross-country comparable data on levels and patterns of alcohol consumption and on alcohol related harms (WP 4), fostering consensus on good practice principles through the creation of guidelines to help reduce alcohol harm (WP5) and to facilitate exchange of good practices by compiling a toolkit with examples of successful use of information (WP6).

RARHA Joint Action on reducing alcohol related harm is being coordinated by Portugal, through the General Directorate for Intervention on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies of the Ministry of Health (SICAD), a structure within the Portuguese Health Ministry. SICAD has been strongly committed to be the guarantor of sustainable policies and interventions in the context of psychoactive substances, addictive behaviours and dependencies.

As RARHA aims to be an inclusive project, we strongly encourage all the citizens to contribute and to subscribe the newsletter.

You are welcome to visit the project website on and share your comments and suggestions.

Source: RARHA

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