leading change: a society free from alcohol harm


Latest Reports

  • This Health Research Board (HRB) commissioned survey focused on alcohol consumption, marketing and selling of alcohol, as well as responses to alcohol-related health and social harms. For example, 58% support a minimum unit price for alcohol.
  • The Report of the Independent Child Death Review Group examined the deaths of children in care, receiving aftercare or known to the HSE at the time of their deaths. Alcohol in the home was named as a key child welfare issue, second only to neglect, in the cases of unnatural death reviewed. Alcohol was twice as prevalent as drugs in the home.  
  • This WHO report Alcohol in the EU updates the evidence base, confirming and expanding what we know about policies that reduce alcohol-related harms. For example, increasing the price of alcohol remains the key to reducing alcohol-related harm.
  • The My World Surveycaptures the views of almost 14,500 young people. It provides clear evidence of the link between excessive use of alcohol and poor mental health and well-being. Excessive drinking was reported by 58% of over 16 year olds. A summary of emerging themes can also be downloaded.
  • The ESPAD survey provides data on substance use among 15 and 16 year olds in 36 European countries. 84% of Irish 15-16 year olds reported that alcohol was easy or fairly easy to acquire, with 26% reporting that they had purchased alcohol for their own consumption in an off trade outlet in the past 30 days

Alcohol Action Ireland publications

Alcohol and Costs

  • Alcohol-related problems cost Ireland an estimated €3.7 billion in 2007, according to the HSE’s report Costs to Society of Problem Alcohol Use in Ireland. Treating alcohol-related injuries and diseases cost the healthcare system an estimated €1.2 billion – around a tenth of the total annual healthcare budget. Meanwhile, an estimated €1.2 billion of tax payers’ money is spent on dealing with alcohol-related crime including violence and vandalism

Children Affected by Harmful Parental Drinking

  • The Report of the Independent Child Death Review Group examined the deaths of children in care, receiving aftercare or known to the HSE at the time of their deaths. Alcohol in the home was named as a key child welfare issue, second only to neglect, in the cases of unnatural death reviewed. Alcohol was twice as prevalent as drugs in the home.      
  • The key findings and proceedings of the first national conference addressing the impact of parental substance misuse on children are summarised in the conference report, A Family Affair? Supporting children living with parental substance misuse.
  • Parental Substance Misuse; Addressing Its Impact On Children; a review of the literature examines how parental substance misuse undermines the potential of families, with negative, long term effects for a substantial minority of children. A summary of the key messages can be downloaded by clicking   here.
  • Bottling It Up – The Next Generation details how alcohol misuse in families is an escalating concern with early screening and identification of families urgently needed to protect and support children now and to prevent the inter-generational cycle of alcohol misuse.
  • The 2010 ISPCC National Children’s Consultation surveyed 9,746 young Irish people between the ages of 12-18 about their own and their parent’s alcohol use. One in 11 children surveyed said their parents’ alcohol use has a negative impact on their lives. This amounts to more than 100,000 children
  • The 2009 Alcohol Action Ireland Keeping it in the family survey was the first ever national research survey carried out among adults to gauge their experiences of parental alcohol use during their childhood. One in 14 adults surveyed said they frequently felt afraid or unsafe as children as a result of their parent’s drinking, with one in 12 reporting witnessing alcohol-related parental conflict
  • The 2010 Swept under the carpet report by Alcohol Concern and The Children’s Society in the UK highlights the significant impact on children of parental alcohol misuse. It finds that an estimated 2.6 million children live with a parent whose drinking puts them at risk of neglect, and 705,000 live with a dependent drinker. The paper makes recommendations on actions needed to support children and families affected by harmful parental drinking
  • A recent Scottish study shows that many of those negatively affected by some-one else’s drinking are children and reveals that a high number of callers to ChildLine Scotland are children concerned about their parents drinking. The 2009 Untold Damage: Children’s Accounts of Living with Harmful Parental Drinking study describes childhoods impacted by severe emotional distress, neglect, and increased risk of physical violence and abuse as a result of harmful parental drinking
  • The Northern Ireland Hidden Harm Action Plan puts policy into action, detailing the region’s response to the needs of children affected by parental alcohol and drug problems. The Plan details what needs to happen to ensure that children and young people receiving compromised parenting as a result of parental alcohol and/or drug problems, can receive the support they need to reduce harm now and assure their health and well-being for the future.

Marketing Alcohol

  • A report from Alcohol Concern Cymru entitled  “Making an impression” shows that children as young as 10-years-old in Wales are more familiar with some leading alcohol brands and adverts than those for popular foods and snacks, demonstrating that alcohol marketing messages are reaching children many years before they are of legal age to buy alcohol.
  • The World Health Organisation has called for a total ban on alcohol advertising in Europe – but what are the legal possibilities of a comprehensive alcohol advertising ban in the region? Click here to find out.
  • How effective are alcohol marketing regulations in Europe? Click here to see an analysis of which European countries have the best and worst regulation.
  • Alcohol Action Ireland’s 2010 Have We Bottled It? Alcohol Marketing and Young People survey reveals that young people are being exposed to alcohol brands from a young age. Among 16 to 21-year-olds, alcohol ads represented five out of their top ten favourite ads. Among the younger 16 to 17 year old age group, one in three said they had seen an ad or pop-up for an alcohol product on their social networking page, while one in five said they had received an online quiz about alcohol or drinking
  • Millions of children were exposed to alcohol promotion during the World Cup 2010 despite advertising regulations to protect children from alcohol marketing, according to Alcohol Concern’s report  Overexposed – Alcohol marketing during the World Cup 2010 (Alcohol Concern, 2010)
  • The 2009 British Medical Association report Under the Influence – the Damaging Effect of Alcohol Marketing on Young People (British Medical Association. 2009) examines the powerful and damaging effect of alcohol marketing communications on children and young people, the forms that alcohol marketing takes, and its cumulative effect in reinforcing and exaggerating strong pro-alcohol social norms
  • The National Youth Council of Ireland’s 2009  Get’Em Young report revealed that young people are exposed to alcohol marketing through at least 16 communication channels on a regular basis.   These include TV, magazines and newspapers, internet, street flyers, billboards, post, radio, cinema, merchandise, music, sports stadiums and bus
  • The Science Group of the European Alcohol and Health Forum found consistent evidence to demonstrate an impact of alcohol advertising on the uptake of drinking among non-drinking young people, and increased consumption among their drinking peers. See the report here: Scientific opinion on Marketing Communication (European Alcohol and Health Forum, 2009)
  • The Report of the Working Group on Sports Sponsorship by the Alcohol Industry looks the question of alcohol sports sponsorship in Ireland with a view to phasing it out

Alcohol, Health and Harm