The Road to a World Health Organization Global Strategy for Reducing the Harmful Use of Alcohol

By Monteiro, Maristela G. | Alcohol Research, Fall 2011 | Go to article overview

The Road to a World Health Organization Global Strategy for Reducing the Harmful Use of Alcohol


Monteiro, Maristela G., Alcohol Research


Harmful alcohol use and the related health effects are a global problem and therefore need to be addressed not only by individual nations but also on an international level. For example, the World Health Organization (WHO) noted that harmful alcohol use is the third leading risk factor for premature deaths and disabilities in the world, accounting for approximately 2.5 million deaths worldwide (corresponding to 3.8 percent of all deaths) in 2004 (WHO 2010). Moreover, harmful alcohol use was considered responsible for 4.5 percent of the global burden of disease as measured in disability-adjusted life-years lost in the same year. Given this scope of the impact, the WHO initiated a series of efforts that culminated in the development of a global strategy for reducing the harmful use of alcohol. This article reviews the alcohol-related activities of the WHO over the years and summarizes the central issues addressed by the global strategy.

Historical Overview of WHO Activities Focusing on Harmful Alcohol Use

As early as 1979, the WHO initiated a program focusing on alcohol-related problems. This program assessed the impact of alcohol consumption in developing and developed societies and has coordinated dozens of projects and activities that have helped build the evidence, awareness, and support necessary for the development of a global alcohol strategy.

In 1997, the WHO also created the Global Information System on Alcohol and Health (GISAH) (http://apps.who.int/globalatlas/default.asp), which currently is hosted and maintained by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Canada. This information system is compiling the most reliable and updated information in the world on alcohol consumption and related harm by country. It includes and regularly updates data on recorded alcohol production, on alcohol consumption and related health effects based on national surveys and estimations of unrecorded consumption, and on national alcohol policies and interventions. The database has information from most countries around the world, although many gaps in the validity and reliability of the information remain.

In 1999, the WHO published its first Global Status Report on Alcohol, which relied on a combination of national and regional estimates, industry data, and data from the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization and UN Statistical Office to generate estimates of adult per capita consumption for most countries (WHO 1999). Subsequently, three additional reports have been published, including the Global Status Report: Alcohol and Young People (WHO 2001), the Global Status Report: Alcohol Policy (WHO 2004a), and the Global Status Report on Alcohol 2004 (WHO 2004b), and a new global report was published at the end of 2010.

A subsequent study conducted in 2000--the WHO Comparative Assessment of Risk Factors for the Global Burden Disease--demonstrated that alcohol consumption ranked as the fifth most important risk factor worldwide (Rehm et al. 2003; WHO 2002). Furthermore, alcohol was identified as the leading risk factor in developing countries with low mortality rates and the third-leading factor in developed countries. These findings clearly indicated a need for global action regarding alcohol's harmful effects.

The Global Strategy to Prevent Alcohol's Harmful Effects

In 2005, the World Health Assembly (WHA) approved a resolution on public health problems caused by harmful use of alcohol (WHA 58.26), thus recognizing that alcohol has a worldwide impact and that strategies exist to reduce such an impact. This resolution led to intensified work on reviewing the evidence on alcohol policies through an expert committee meeting and report. In addition, among other initiatives, the information in the global alcohol database was updated, followed by new estimates of the burden imposed by alcohol on global health. However, when presented at the WHA in 2007, these additional data still were insufficient to reach a consensus on a global alcohol strategy. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Road to a World Health Organization Global Strategy for Reducing the Harmful Use of Alcohol
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.