Alcohol and drug problems

For many, consuming alcohol may seem an easy way to cope with everyday problems.   That view is certainly reinforced by images in alcohol promotions that hammer home the notion that alcohol offers a taste of luxury, recreation, and entrée into a world free of everyday worries.   Not so apparent are the myriad health and other problems created by alcohol use that impose additional burdens on poor people, generate substantial problems for society, and become onerous stumbling blocks for development. 

Vladimir Poznyak 180p

Alcohol a risk factor behind many critical development issues

Alcohol fits in everywhere. It is a risk factor in many of the important health and welfare issues of today; violence, including violence against women; non-communicable diseases as well as communicable diseases; mental health problems; injuries and accidents, said Dr. Vladimir Poznyak at a WHO/UNDP workshop

19. June 2014
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UK charity 'Comic Relief' withdraws alcohol investments

Following a comprehensive review, the trustees of the charity 'Comic Relief' have announced that they will no longer make investments in alcohol, tobacco and arm. The charity came under criticism last year after BBC's Panorama revealed it had invested in sectors which appeared to contradict the core values of the charity.

02. June 2014
World Cancer Report 2014 front page

World Cancer Report 2014

"Extend tobacco-style restrictions to alcohol"

When The World Cancer Report 2014 was launched last month, a United Nations statment called for multipronged preventive action including treaties and laws extending tobacco-style restrictions to alcohol and sweetened beverages.

31. March 2014
Savera Kalideen

South Africa alcohol policy under scrutiny

Alcohol industry still calls the shots

Chair of the Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance, Savera Kalideen, points out that policies in South Africa protect profits but fail to address alcohol's harmful effects on society. The article is published in the newspaper Mail&Guardian.

28. March 2014
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Plastic sachets with liquor a public health problem in Tanzania

Tanzania has experienced the same increasing problem with hard liquor sold in plastic sachets as a number of other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Tanzanian situation was presented by Dr Gerry Mshana in a STRIVE Learning Lab recently. Dr. Mshana focused on the effect of macro-economic factors such as pricing and packaging on alcohol drinking norms among young people.

26. February 2014
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NIAAA: Measuring the Burden

Research update on alcohol's impact on individuals, families, and society

The current issue of the journal of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA, USA), Alcohol Research: Current Reviews carries a number of articles about the impact of alcohol globally and in the United States. The full issue or individual articles are available online in pdf or various e-book formats.

12. February 2014
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PAHO online resources:

Self learning on alcohol and drug policy

The Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) has introduced Self-Learning Courses on several aspects of alcohol and drug harm and policy. The virtual courses may be accessed by anyone and are available in English and Spanish.

09. December 2013
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The alcohol situation in Malawi documented in new research report

A modest proportion of Malawians - 14 per cent - are alcohol drinkers. On the other hand, those who do drink have a high and risky consumption level. These were two of the key conclusions in a report presented to the Malawian Minister of Health Wednesday. The report has mapped drinking habits in Malawi.

29. November 2013
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New World Bank Report

Risking your Health

The World Bank recently released the report "Risking your Health: Causes, Consequences and Interventions to Prevent Risky Behaviors". It warns that risky behaviors are increasingly prevalent globally, particularly in developing countries, and constitute a growing threat to the health of individuals and their populations.

25. November 2013
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World Bank report recommends evidence-based alcohol policies to reduce road traffic injuries in Africa

Controlling non-communicable diseases and road traffic injuries are key public health issues in Africa, concludes a new report from the World Bank. The report recommends population-based interventions to regulate availability and marketing of alcohol to reduce the number of injuries from road traffic.

22. October 2013