Prevention and Reduction of Alcohol Related Harm
The role of alcohol related harm in our city can be underestimated. This is not just about the negative impact that alcohol can have on the health and wellbeing of an individual drinker but also the harm to others including children and families, community and wider society. The Local Authority, Gardaí, HSE and other agencies spend a lot of resources and time managing and reacting to alcohol related issues including antisocial behaviour, crime and safety concerns, health impacts, clean up and repair of public spaces and public property. Alcohol-related work absence due to alcohol consumption and the loss of productivity impact on the local economy and can reduce the ability of our City to thrive and achieve its potential.
Askaboutalcohol.ie is a HSE website which provides information on alcohol – about how much we’re drinking, how it affects our health, and how we can gain more by drinking less.
An Alcohol Fact Sheet is also available to download from the World Health Organisation.
Galway City Alcohol Strategy
Galway City was the first city in Ireland to develop a strategy in 2013 to prevent and reduce alcohol related harm and has recently developed a second strategy to build on this work. The overall goal of the Galway City Alcohol Strategy 2019-2023 is to prevent and reduce alcohol related harm thereby making Galway City a better place for all.
As part of the consultation process for development of the strategy 350 people completed an online survey which identified that actions are required to address the availability of alcohol, and people being intoxicated, reduce alcohol advertising and promotion of alcohol, protect children and young people from exposure to alcohol related harm and address gaps in support and treatment services.
Galway City Alcohol Forum has developed Galway City Alcohol Strategy (2019-2023) sets out 4 goals and related actions to:
1. Strengthen Community Engagement to support implementation of alcohol strategy and reduce alcohol harm
2. Promote implementation of effective alcohol policies
3. Reduce exposure of children to alcohol related harm
4. Promote and advocate for support and treatment services for those affected by alcohol.
Galway City Alcohol Forum is a multiagency group led by HSE Health Promotion and Improvement, Western Region Drug and Alcohol Task Force, Galway Roscommon Education and Training Board, and Dr Ann Hope with other representatives from An Garda Síochána, Galway City Partnership, Galway Chamber, Galway City Community Network, Galway City Council, Galway City Council elected representative, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, HSE - Addiction Services, Environmental Health and Public Health, NUI Galway Health Promotion, NUI Galway Student Union, and No 4 Youth Service.
Planet Youth is an international evidence-based primary prevention model, developed by the Icelandic Centre for Social Research and Analysis (ICSRA) at Reykjavik University. It was initially developed in order to reduce substance use rates amongst young people. The model uses a whole population approach and offers the opportunity to improve health and life outcomes for young people in many areas.
There are currently three Planet Youth pilot sites operating in the West of Ireland. They are Planet Youth Galway, Planet Youth Mayo and Planet Youth Roscommon. These five-year pilot programmes have been initiated and developed by the Western Region Drug and Alcohol Task Force (WRDATF) with the support of partner agencies in the region.
You can read the Planet Youth Report for County Galway here.
National and Local Policies and Plans
Reducing Harm Supporting Recovery 2017-2025 sets out the Government’s strategy to address the harm caused by substance misuse in our society up to 2025.
The Public Health Alcohol Act 2018 was signed into law on 17 October 2018. For the first time, this legislation seeks to address the negative impacts of consumption on public health grounds. It is part of a suite of measures designed to reduce alcohol consumption and limit the damage to the nation’s health, society and economy.
Useful website: askaboutalcohol.ie
Alcohol advice for the coronavirus outbreak, with tips for drinking less such as not stockpiling alcohol and not drinking on weekdays.
Coping tips and supports for people in recovery, outlining tips and supports for people who are trying to remain alcohol free and for those who are in recovery from alcohol addiction.
Alcohol Self assessment tool - to find out more about what type of drinker you are and the impact of your drinking.
A range of printed materials, including information in relation to alcohol, are now available to download or order through healthpromotion.ie/publications.
Alcohol Action Ireland are an independent voice for advocacy and policy change, working to reduce levels of alcohol harm in Ireland and improve public health, safety and wellbeing. For more information on alcohol facts, policy and campaigns visit alcoholireland.ie.
The Alcohol Forum seeks to create and inspire change by working with individuals, families and communities to prevent and reduce the harm caused by alcohol. For more information on programmes run by the Alcohol Forum visit alcoholforum.org
Hope A (2015). Research evidence to prevent alcohol-related harm: what communities can do in Ireland. Galway Healthy Cities: Galway City Alcohol Strategy to Prevent and Reduce Alcohol-Related Harm (2013-2017).
The HSE Drug and Alcohol Helpline continues to be available on 1800 459 459 and firstname.lastname@example.org.