Alcohol abuse has remained a topic for concerned for the entire world health community. It is not just a health problem but a larger social dilemma that can hinder the positive growth of society. Private and public organizations have taken plausible steps so far to counter the menace of alcohol abuse but still a lot seems to be done to bring s lasting holistic change of mindsets and ways of consumption.
In this regard, the most prominent and effective global health platform, World Health Organization (WHO), has been doing a lot of work that has brought substantial changes in the abusive consumption of alcohol. The Western and European countries are the ones that are most involved in alcohol consumption for decades and now they are reaping the fatal impacts of its overuse.
WHO’s global strategy to counter harmful effects of alcohol
Being responsible for global health and healthcare services for the underdeveloped as well as the developed nations, WHO has taken tremendous steps to curb the overconsumption of alcohol and change the mindsets of the consumers through social awareness programs.
Aims and Objectives
The global strategy was presented by the WHO in 2010, during the 63rd session of the World Health Assembly, which was adopted by 193 member states of the organization. This global strategy aims to:
- Give guidance for all required actions for all levels.
- To set priority areas in each country for global action.
- To recommend a portfolio for policy options to implement it at all levels.
- Taking into account the religious, social, economic, political, and cultural contexts of nations and suggesting the measures accordingly.
- Raising global awareness regarding the harmful effects of alcohol consumption through research-oriented documents.
- Strengthening partnerships with private and public social organizations for bringing change at the grassroots level.
Improving systems of monitoring and surveillance of recovering individuals, groups, and communities that are under severe threat along with a transparent check and balance of the authorities responsible to curtail the overconsumption.
Four Priority Areas for Implementing Action
- Public health advocacy and partnership
- Technical support and capacity building
- Production and dissemination of knowledge
- Resource mobilization
The Ten Areas for National Action
The WHO formulated a clear strategy for targeting ten particular areas for every nation to combat the alcohol abuse;
- Leadership, awareness, and commitment
- Health services’ response (indiscriminate, efficient, and timely)
- Community actions on local level
- Policy changes with stricter rules for DUI (driving under influence)
- Availability of alcohol
- Stricter marketing regulations and pricing policies
- Controlling media marketing that projects alcohol as safe
- Providing rehabilitation and affordable healthcare to the recovering patients
- Post-treatment/recovery monitoring by health institutes
The measures taken by the countries under the leadership of the WHO have reaped positive results. However, a lot still needs to be done in the areas of production and marketing by the big global brands. Social media has also helped a lot in spreading awareness about the harmful effects of alcohol along with success stories that have changed millions of lives through renouncing alcohol.
Many lives and families can be saved with a slight change in mindset, needs, and social-economic adjustments which are mainly responsible for overindulgence in alcohol consumption.