Alcohol Use and Alcohol Use Disorders

Authors: Maria Elena Medina-Mora, Maristela Montiero, Robin Room, Jurgen Rehm, David Jernigan, Diego Sanchez-Moreno


The chapter documents data showing that premature mortality from alcohol use disproportionately affects low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where more than 85 percent of all deaths attributable to alcohol occur. Along with a high burden of disease derived from alcohol use, LMICs have medium-to-low levels of policy implementation for reducing alcohol use and consequences, insufficient evidence of the impact of measures to reduce the burden, and very little research. Alcohol’s impact on disease and injury is associated with two dimensions: the overall volume consumed and the drinking patterns of how the volume is distributed by drinking. Globally, per capita alcohol consumption in 2012 was an estimated 6.2 liters of pure alcohol by persons ages 15 years and older. The high level of globalization of alcohol consumption has significant effects on markets, but the substantial health and societal costs of alcohol consumption outweigh its economic benefits and contribute to the view of public health professionals that alcohol cannot be considered an ordinary commodity.



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