Alcohol is the 3rd risk factor for disease and death in the European Union. The direct costs through healthcare, crime, policing, accidents and productivity losses were €155 billion in 2010. The EU strategy to support Member States in reducing alcohol related harm identifies common priorities, including the need to develop common evidence base and monitoring, and the need to inform and raise awareness on alcohol related harm. These are instrumental for the priorities to protect children, young people and the unborn child, to reduce harm among adults and to reduce harm due to drink driving. The prevalence of harmful drinking was chosen as one key indicator for monitoring progress against the EU strategy.
RARHA is an EU Health Programme, funded by the European Commission. This is a 3 years Joint Action sustaining Member States to take forward work on common priorities in line with the EU Strategy to support Member States in reducing alcohol related harm.
The main goal of the Joint Action is to contribute to the health and wellbeing of the EU citizens and to reduce costs to health systems and the wider economy.
The Joint Action RARHA is coordinated by Portugal through SICAD, with the participation of 32 Associated Partners from 27 EU Member States plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, and 28 Collaborating Partners, such as the EMCDDA, WHO, Pompidou Group and OECD, among others.
SICAD ensures the coordination of all partners involved, as well as the coordination of the Joint Action Work Package’s.
The results of the Work Packages, divided into 3 horizontal and 3 vertical working areas, will contribute to a better understanding of European and national realities, through the harmonization of concepts and data collection, facilitating the monitoring of this phenomenon.
The horizontal themes of Work Packages are: (a) coordination, (b) dissemination (c) evaluation.
The vertical Work Packages address issues such as: (d) the need for better access to comparable data on consumption patterns and on the harmful use of alcohol, (e) guidelines for risk reduction and minimization of harm associated with alcohol use, taking into account specific contexts and target groups, and (f) the development of a good practice Tool-Kit.
Member States will be mobilised to take-up a common survey methodology to obtain comparable data for monitoring progress in reducing alcohol related harm at national and EU level and for benchmarking national developments against wider trends.
Common ground in communication on alcohol related harm will be widened, providing guidance for policy makers on the scientific basis and policy implications of low risk drinking guidelines.
A good practice Tool-Kit on dissemination of information will be developed, taking into account effectiveness, transferability, relevance, costs and usefulness.
More information at: www.rarha.eu