Contextual determinants of alcohol consumption changes and preventive alcohol policies: a 12-country European study in progress

Subst Use Misuse. 2011;46(10):1288-303. doi: 10.3109/10826084.2011.572942. Epub 2011 Jun 21.


Beginning with France in the 1950s, alcohol consumption has decreased in Southern European countries with few or no preventive alcohol policy measures being implemented, while alcohol consumption has been increasing in Northern European countries where historically more restrictive alcohol control policies were in place, even though more recently they were loosened. At the same time, Central and Eastern Europe have shown an intermediate behavior. We propose that country-specific changes in alcohol consumption between 1960 and 2008 are explained by a combination of a number of factors: (1) preventive alcohol policies and (2) social, cultural, economic, and demographic determinants. This article describes the methodology of a research study designed to understand the complex interactions that have occurred throughout Europe over the past five decades. These include changes in alcohol consumption, drinking patterns and alcohol-related harm, and the actual determinants of such changes.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / prevention & control*
  • Alcohol Drinking / trends*
  • Alcoholism / prevention & control*
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Culture*
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Policy*