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The Awareness Week on Alcohol-Related Harm (AWARH) aims to highlight the negative effects of alcohol and call for greater action to address the problems it can cause, through improvements in:

• PREVENTION: evidence shows that warnings on alcohol prompt discussions on the health effects of drinking and help deter for drink driving

• EDUCATION: a Swedish programme based on training of bar staff and stricter enforcement of existing alcohol laws led to a 29% reduction in violent crime

• SCREENING: a 2008 study showed that better screening and behavioural counselling in primary healthcare could save 176,000 ‘life years’

Did you know?

• Europe drinks more than any other region in the world

• Alcohol is the world’s number one risk factor for ill-health and premature death among people of working age, according to the World Health Organisation

• Alcohol is a risk factor for more than 60 major types of diseases and injuries and a cause in 200 others, including alcoholic liver disease, alcohol use disorders such as alcohol dependence, cardiovascular diseases, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, cancer and diabetes

• Harm goes beyond the drinker: there are also the social and economic costs of crime and disorder, domestic violence, unemployment and incapacity benefits

With these worrying trends in mind, we are asking you state your commitment to tackle alcohol-related harm in Europe, namely via:

• The Renewal of the EU Alcohol Strategy

• Targeted commitments for action on alcohol-related harm as part of the outcomes of the chronic disease reflection process

• The inclusion of pledges for action on alcohol-related harm in the European Parliamentary Group manifestos for the 2014 European Elections.