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What we say about… Alcohol

Alcohol and drugs · Position statements | November 15, 2023

Our key messages

  • Alcohol consumption and mortality have increased, leading to significant financial and social cost across the UK.


  • UK alcohol consumption remains higher than the average for all OECD countries.


  • Despite alcohol consumption not being socially patterned, a lower socioeconomic status is associated with higher levels of alcohol-related ill-health and alcohol-attributable mortality.


  • Alcohol policies should move their focus from treatment to prevention to reduce the affordability, availability and appeal of alcohol – minimum unit pricing was the number one policy priority for ADPH members in our most recent policy survey.

Our national recommendations

  • Governments in all four nations should have in place a multi-faceted, wide-reaching strategy aimed at reducing alcohol harm.


  • An independent body should be established to regulate alcohol promotion, devise harm reduction measures, and educate the public about alcohol related harm.


  • Governments in all four nations should implement a minimum price of 65p per unit of alcohol and follow the evidence base built in Scotland and Wales.


  • The Government should reintroduce the tax escalator on alcohol at 2% per annum ahead of inflation.


  • The Government should introduce mandatory health labelling on alcohol and reduce children’s exposure to alcohol through restrictions on advertising and sponsorship.

Our local recommendations

  • Public health authorities and commissioners should continue to take an evidence-based approach to establish alcohol treatment services that meet the needs of the local population.


  • Public health authorities in England should work with ICBs to use ICS budgets to properly fund alcohol treatment.


  • The NHS should embed prevention of alcohol harm into local plans and promote the systematic use of Alcohol Identification and Brief Advice (Audit C) for all relevant front line NHS staff.
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