Alcohol-related harm

The harmful use of alcohol is a leading risk factor for premature death and disability globally. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than two milliion people die from alcohol-related causes every year.

In May 2008, WHO was tasked by member states to develop a draft global strategy to reduce the burden resulting from the harmful use of alcohol. The first stage in developing this strategy was a web-based public hearing WHO launched in October 2008 inviting views from all interested parties. WHO particularly sought opinions on integrated approaches to protect at-risk populations, young people and those affected by other people's harmful drinking.

In our response to the WHO hearing on alcohol abuse (PDF 50KB) [see how to access PDF files], the RCN highlighted how nurses have contributed towards curtailing harmful drinking behaviours, and that there is a resource produced by the RCN for nurses and health care assistants to identify and assist individuals who have problems with alcohol.