Much the same way individuals are encouraged to know their blood pressure and cholesterol numbers to maintain a healthy lifestyle, a new editorial in the Journal of Psychopharmacology urges the European public to know and monitor their alcohol intake number using a simple 10 point plan.
Scientists Jürgen Rehm from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, Canada, and David Nutt, Neuropsychopharmacologist from Imperial College London and Vice President of the European Brain Council, have created an integrated set of evidence-based strategies focusing on what individuals and governments can do to reduce the personal and public costs of alcohol.
"Alcohol is one of the leading causes of disease and disability in the UK and Europe, says Jürgen Rehm. "And the harm attributable to alcohol could be easily reduced."
The first four points focus on personal health behavior. Nutt and Rehm suggest:
The next six points focus on government intervention:
"It is important to create a climate where the risks of alcohol are known, and where governments take their responsibility to reduce problems caused by alcohol," says Nutt. "But our method also involves education and self-monitoring approaches of individuals that have already proven effective in relation to cholesterol and blood pressure. The combination of individual and societal approaches would likely have major beneficial impact on health effect and social harms due to alcohol, and reduce alcohol-attributable mortality especially in younger ages. The proposed approach would also reduce the stigma currently associated with alcohol use disorders and thus enable earlier and more interventions."
Materials provided by SAGE Publications. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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