[Policies to prevent the harm caused by alcohol].Rev Esp Salud Publica. 2014 Aug; 88(4):515-28.RE
The impact on health of alcohol in a given society is mainly related with the volume and pattern of drinking, and these are related with individual factors, but also with environmental factors, among which public policies are important determinants. Public policies may favour or reduce alcohol use, and thus have a substantial preventive capacity. The effectiveness of policies to prevent the harm caused by alcohol has been reviewed in recent documents, which provide evidence to extract recommendations. This paper reviews the most effective policies to reduce the harm caused by alcohol, with an emphasis in the use of taxes to increase its cost, availability regulation, and policies on drinking and driving. The regulation of alcohol promotion and publicity is also assessed, as well as the detection and treatment of alcohol abuse and dependence. The state of alcohol related policies in Spain is analysed, as well as the obstacles, for the adoption of policies more prone to prevention, and recommendations for the future are made.