Alcohol and drug problems
Tools for change
Drug Policy FuturesNew international network launched in Vienna
Alternatives? Yes! Legalisation? No! The platform of the newly launched Drug Policy Futures calls for an end to a polarised drug debate at the United Nations.
New report:Alcohol Marketing and Regulatory Policy Environment in India
India’s alcohol consumption is increasing by 10-15 per cent per year, and among drinkers binge drinking is the dominating pattern. India is now one of the key emerging markets for the global spirits industry.
Professor Sally Casswell, SHORE, New Zealand:- Policy responses to alcohol marketing are urgently needed
The global exposure of young people to alcohol marketing requires an urgent policy response. Engagement by NGOs and governments independent from commercial interests is needed. This is the conclusion of Professor Sally Casswell in an article in the journal Addiction.
International charter on the prevention of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
Urgent action is needed to prevent more children from acquiring disorders due to mother’s alcohol consumption during pregnancy. This is the appeal from the first international conference on prevention of foetal alcohol spectrum disorders, held in Edmonton, AB, Canada, on Sept 23—25, 2013.
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.
The MenEngage Alliance calls for effective policies to reduce harmful drinking
In its Call for Action to the Commission on the Status of Women in 2013, the global MenEngage alliance defined policies to decrease alcohol consumption as one of ten priority areas of action to reduce violence against women.
"AIDS in numbers":New figures confirm global progress
Remarkable progress has been made over the last decade—yet significant challenges remain. This is the conclusion UNAIDS draws from the latest statistics over the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Their new report “AIDS by the numbers” says that there has been a reduction of 33% in new HIV infections since 2001.
ADIC: Sri Lankan "NGO of the Year"
The Alcohol and Drug Information Centre (ADIC) in Colombo has been named «NGO of the Year» in 2013 by the Sri Lankan newspaper The Nation. This was announced late December 2013. – A great motivation, comments the ADIC Director, Pubudu Sumanasekera.
New report on alcohol advertising in Madagascar
The government of Madagascar has a legislative base to restrict alcohol marketing in the ‘Code Général de Impots’. However, alcohol producers and advertisers are breaking this law en masse, concludes a new EUCAM report from Madagascar.
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.
New World Bank ReportRisking 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.
UNDP Discussion Paper:Addressing the Social Determinants of Noncommunicable Diseases
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has recently issued a Discussion Paper titled "Addressing the Social Determinants of Noncommunicable Diseases". It offers a typology of multisectoral action on NCDs and a framework for actors outside the health sector to take action.
Global Alcohol Policy Conference, Seoul, 2013From local action to global change
Around 850 participants gathered in Seoul, South Korea, in October for the third Global Alcohol Policy Conference. Being a meeting place for policymakers, advocates and researchers, the three day program included more than 120 presentations in 32 plenary and concurrent sessions.
Alcohol companies direct their ads toward young women
If you are in doubt about the alcohol industry’s intention to make young, modern women alcohol consumers, this video clip with Dr. David H. Jernigan may be of interest. Through selected alcohol ads Dr. Jernigan shows how the industry use catchwords as organic, low-carb, natural and diet to attract female drinkers.
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.
Half the world’s adults do not drink alcohol – what should the policy implications be?
Non-drinkers make up nearly half the world’s adult population. A paper presented at the GAPC conference in Seoul suggests what the policy implications of this may be, in particular for developing countries which have remarkable high segments of non-drinkers in their populations.
Training Programme on Evidence-based Alcohol Policy
A new Training Manual to support evidence-based alcohol policy development in low income settings is now available! The manual has been developed on the basis of pilot trainings in seven African countries.
160 Swedish CSOs recognize alcohol as a hindrance to development
The Swedish NGO umbrella organisation “Forum Syd” has adopted a policy document which points at alcohol as a hindrance to development and a factor which can obstruct work for rights and poverty reduction. 160 NGOs are members of Forum Syd
Global Burden of Disease figures show: Alcohol grows as risk factor for death and disability (corrected version)
Alcohol is the leading risk factor for death and disability in Southern sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe and in parts of Latin America. This is one of the conclusions from a new calculation of the Global Burden of Disease. The new study is based on figures from 2010 and these figures are compared to a similar study from 1990.
WHO Afro and FORUT: Cooperation agreement signed
WHO Regional Office for Africa and FORUT have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote evidence-based alcohol policies in Africa. The new agreement defines areas of cooperation between the two parties.
National Alcohol Policy Alliance formed in Lesotho
Civil society organizations in Lesotho have come together to form the Alcohol Policy Alliance Lesotho. The new network aims at being a watchdog for and supporter of evidence-based alcohol policies in the country.
WHO Director General Dr. Chan warns again against vested interests
“Efforts to prevent non-communicable diseases go against the business interests of powerful economic operators. In my view, this is one of the biggest challenges facing health promotion”, said Dr. Margaret Chan in her opening address to the Health for All conference in Helsinki.
World Health Organization to tackle non-communicable disease
The 66th World Health Assembly opened in Geneva today. One of the main issues is how the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCD) will be handled in the future. Referring to the difference between malaria and NCDs the Director General of WHO, Dr. Margaret Chan, in her opening speech stated that “Mosquitoes do not have front groups, and mosquitoes do not have lobbies.”
Dr. Chan will protect alcohol policy from industry
WHO Director General, Dr. Margaret Chan, will protect alcohol policy making from commercial or vested interests of the alcohol industry. She welcomes an initiative by researchers and civil society organizations that keep careful watch over the behaviour of the alcohol industry.
This is the Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance
The Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance (SAAPA) is a network of NGOs which advocate for evidence-based alcohol policies in countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Alliance now invites more NGOs to join.
The new tsunami of non-communicable diseases:- Prevention is the only viable policy option
“We experience a tsunami of new non-communicable diseases. We have got no option. We must put our efforts into prevention by promoting healthy lifestyles”. With these words the South African Minister of Health, Hon Aaron Motsoaledi opened the a WHO meeting on NCDs in Johannesburg.
Alcohol and improved health:Premature to conclude that there is a causal relationship
Media regularly quote reports on possible linkages between moderate alcohol consumption and improved health. Dr. Hans Olav Fekjær has reviewed the evidence in a new article in Addiction. – It would be premature to conclude that there is a causal relationship.
Edmonton, Canada, 23 - 25 September 2013Conference on the prevention of FASD
The first international conference on prevention of FASD will take place in Edmonton, Canada, 23-25 September 2013. The conference will discuss promising approaches for preventing harm to the fetus caused by mother’s use of alcohol during pregnancy.
Global public health community issues warning over alcohol industry conflict of interest
More than 500 public health professionals, health scientists and NGO representatives from 60 countries have signed a joint Statement of Concern about the activities of the global alcohol producers.
South Africa: Conflict over ban on alcohol advertising
A fierce discussion on possible restrictions on alcohol advertising is currently going on in South Africa. The 53rd ANC National Conference re-confirmed the ANC’s intention to introduce a ban on alcohol adverts.
Training program on evidence-based alcohol policies in developing countries
Blue Cross and FORUT have developed a training program on evidence-based alcohol policies. Training sessions have so far been held in seven countries in Africa.
Appeal to civil society: sign onConcern over alcohol industry conflict of interest
An independent coalition of public health professionals, health scientists and NGO representatives has written a public letter that is addressed to the WHO Director General in response to the recent initiatives of the global alcohol producers. Individuals and organizations are invited to sign on to the statement.
GAPA submission in Health in the post 2015 Development AgendaAlcohol: a key determinant for ill health and an obstacle to development
In the development goals that will follow the Millennium Development Goals alcohol needs to be addressed, says the Global Alcoholhol Policy Alliance. This is the topic of a paper contributed to the consultation by WHO and UNICEF on Health in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
YMCA: It is urgent to mobilize Zambian youth against a harmful drinking culture
- We are losing time. Drinking habits among Zambian youth should be treated as a national disaster. Otherwise all development efforts will be a failure, says Jonas Ngulube of YMCA Zambia. The organization has now held a series of mobilization meetings for youth in three regions of Zambia.
CWIN: 25 years with children and for children in Nepal
In November CWIN – Child Workers of Nepal Concerned Centre – celebrated its 25 years anniversary. Children and VIP guests alike met to celebrate the many achievements of CWIN and the idea of child rights.
The African Journal of Drug and Alcohol Studies
The 2011 issues of the African Journal are now available online in soft copy versions. Click below to see tables of contents and to download pdf versions of the Journal.
7-9 October 2013 in Seoul: The Global Alcohol Policy Conference
The last Global Alcohol Policy Conference held in Thailand 2012 was a huge success. It is now time to start planning for the GAPC 2013 in Seoul in Korea.
The Southern Africa Alcohol Policy Alliance established in Johannesburg
A regional forum for NGOs in Southern Africa resulted in the formation of a Southern Africa Alcohol Policy Alliance representing seven countries. Savera Kalideen from Soul City in South Africa was elected the first chair of the Alliance.
The Overlooked Obstacles for Achieving Millenium Development Goals
- At least five of the Millennium Development Goals are clearly affected by alcohol harm. The success of achieving them also depends on how alcohol’s role is addressed,” says Pubudu Sumanasekara in IOGT International on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
Introducing FISD: Local alcohol and drug prevention in Sri Lanka
The Foundation for Innovative Social Development (FISD) is a national NGO working towards the improvement of living standards in local communities in Sri Lanka. One of their programs addresses alcohol and drugs as an obstacle to development.
Alcohol policy alliance formed in East Africa
During the recent East Africa Conference on Alcohol a new alcohol policy alliance for the region was formed. Moses Waweru (in the middle of the picture) from Kenya is new chair.
New web site on alcohol and cancer
Experts have known since 1987 that alcohol can cause cancer, but the connection between the two is often unknown or ignored, both by the general public and by health professionals and NGOs. To compensate for this Eurocare and the Association of European Cancer Leagues have now launched a web resource on alcohol as a risk factor for cancer.
World Health Statistics 2012
The report “World Health Statistics” is WHO’s annual compilation of health-related data for its 194 Member States. It includes a summary of the progress made towards achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and associated targets. This year, it also includes highlight summaries on the topics of non-communicable diseases.
World Drug Report 2012
The World Drug Report provides an overview of recent trends and the drug situation in terms of production, trafficking and consumption of illegal drugs. The 2012 edition concludes with both stability and worrying trends in the global drug scene.
STRIVE: Research on structural drivers behind the spread of HIV/AIDS
A new and promising research program on structural drivers of the HIV/AIDS epidemic has now been started under the title STRIVE. The program is highly relevant for alcohol and development discussions, as excessive drinking is one of the four drivers to be examined.
The Malawi Alcohol Policy Alliance established
A collaboration process for Malawian NGOs, which was triggered by advocacy efforts by the alcohol in industry in 2007, has now led to the formation of a national NGO alliance, MAPA, to work for evidence-based alcohol policies.
New report on intimate partner violence and alcohol use
A new evidence overview points at excessive alcohol consumption as one the key drivers behind intimate partner violence. The report is written by senior lecturer Lori Heise at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Liqour sachets banned in Zambia
The Government of Zambia has with immediate effect banned the manufacturing and sale of strong liquor sachets commonly known as tujilijili. This was announced by Minister Luo (picture)at a press briefing in Lusaka on Sunday 15 April, reports The Times of Zambia.
Global Alcohol Policy Alliance (GAPA) calls for action:Alcohol and NCDs - need for response to WHO consultation
The Global Alcohol Policy Alliance has called for civil society and Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) to ask that reduced alcohol consumption be reinstated among the global priority targets for prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCD). A consultation is open until 19 Arpil.
Successful Global Alcohol Policy Conference in Bangkok:“We have enough evidence to act. Now!”
A historic moment! A significant success! Great words were used at the closing of the Global Alcohol Policy Conference in Bangkok 15 February, - and for good reasons. The conference had everything in terms of technical contents, commitment from participants as well as excellent conference facilities and local staff.
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