chapter  11
13 Pages

Alcohol-Related Adverse Social Consequences within the European Union

ByE.Österberg

The discussion about the consumption of alcoholic beverages and its various consequences has mostly centred round the impact of continuous heavy drinking on health and round the relationship of the level of and changes in total alcohol consumption to public health (see eg. Bruun et al., 1975; European Alcohol Action Plan, 1993; Verschuren, 1993; Edwards et al., 1994). There is plenty of evidence that drinking alcohol causes many acute or chronic health problems to the drinkers themselves, and in some cases also to someone else. Therefore, there is no doubt that in the countries where alcohol is consumed in abundance, as EU countries (see e.g. Simpura, 1995), drinking endangers public health. But besides being a public health problem, drinking also causes many other problems which are not easily interpretable as related to health.